It happened on an ordinary day. People were shopping at the market, working in the fields, raising kids, everything seemed so normal, no one suspected a cataclysmic event was approaching. This man named Jesus was traveling throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness among the people. He was like no one they’ve ever seen or heard. One day Jesus saw the crowds and went up on a mountainside and sat down and began to teach them. This particularly long discourse wasn’t on the topic of salvation.
This day Jesus was teaching on the way of righteous living for those who are in God’s family, contrasting the new “Way” with the old way. The old way being; the teachings of the scribes and the Pharisees. His message was directed to the Jews of his day and was a detailed explanation of ‘repent’. His message was an elaboration of the spirit of law. Even for an audience of today, it’s a detailed revelation of the righteousness of God.
Their world was turned upside down that day.
In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus said to them:, “When people insult and persecute you, rejoice and be glad, because your reward is in heaven! Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you won’t enter the kingdom of heaven! Don’t think I’ve come to abolish the Law or the Pharisees; I’ve come to fulfill them! If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles! You have heard it said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy’. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you! Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, but store up treasures in heaven! Do unto others, what you would have them do to you!”
The Sermon on the Mount changed their lives—what’s it done for you?