Back at the end of May I preached from the Sermon on the Mount. Today I want us to take a look at the conclusion of Jesus’ greatest sermon. In seminary we were told, “A good sermon marches; it moves to a goal; it goes somewhere; and then moves to a conclusion that calls the listener to actION.” What Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount does very clearly, is moves to a conclusion that calls the hearers … to action.
Let’s recap just a bit. In chapter 5 of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus begins with nine “Blessings” … those very familiar words that we’ve heard over and over again: “Blessed are the poor in spirit...Blessed are those who mourn...Blessed are the meek...Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness...Blessed are the merciful... Blessed are the pure in heart...Blessed are the peacemakers,” and so on and so forth.
Jesus then stresses the importance of fulfilling the Law: moving through discourses on Murder, Adultery, Love for Enemies, a re-interpretation of the old saying ‘An Eye for an Eye’, Giving to the Needy … some pretty weighty obligations that his disciples are to maintain. He then ends this great sermon with the parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders, placing the emphasis squarely on our hearing and our doing....Read full sermon here (PDF)