Lesson 39: The Sermon on the Mount (#7, Luke's Account)
Matthew 9:14-17, Mark 2:18-22, Luke 6:20-49 & 5:33-39
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A Blending of The Four Gospel Records.
This is lesson # 39. Welcome to lesson # 39. We have now completed 6 lessons on the sermon on the mount. It's a little ironic that it would take Jesus about 20 minutes to give that sermon and we've spent hours on it. But this should also impress you with the importance of that sermon. You might notice the two verses at the last of Matt. ch. 7 in this connection. "And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these saying, the people were astonished at his doctrine." I think we should say "Amen" to that. And then, v.29 said, "For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." Mark used almost that identical phrase in Mark 1:22, you may remember when Jesus healed the man in the synagogue at Capernaum. You might also take the time to notice that Matthew connected this to the cleansing of the leper (Matt. 8:1) we have already covered, as being the same occasion. Thus, reminding us, that our coverage is NOT totally chronological. However, this is all that we're going to say about Matthew's account of the sermon on the mount. But, I trust you remember, we still have Luke's account in Luke ch. 6. So, if you'll turn to Luke ch. 6, we're gong to read Luke's account
at this time. Glance quickly at Luke 6:12-19! You will recognize we have already covered this; but, I trust it will bring the setting back in clear focus. Then the rest of Luke. 6, beginning in v.20 is a record of the Sermon on the mount. Jesus speaking! Beginning in v.20, let's read! "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. And he spake a parable unto them; Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye. For a good tree^bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good'fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, an doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great."
Now, some think this a different sermon than the one Matthew recorded. And, that is a distinct possibility. There's no doubt but that Jesus taught the same general principles every where he went. So, we should not be surprised to find similar material in different sermons, even the same illustrations. However, when we consider both the sitting AND the sermon; I am inclined to the view that both records cover the same sermon. There is a little rearranging and a few omissions; but the same general context. Luke's account is shorter and more abbreviated; but, he includes some things that Matthew omitted. Thus, I am inclined to think both records are an abbreviation of the same lesson. However, in keeping with OUR purpose; we are going to try to restrict our discussion and analysis of this sermon, we just read, found in Luke's account, to those passages NOT FOUND in Matthew's account. Thus, hopefully, we will have covered all the thought content, when we've finished. We will not take the time to cover duplicate materials; ALTHOUGH, that material may be stated somewhat differently. And, I guess that's a joke to think that we will cover all the though content. Because you could milk these lessons til the sun goes down and you'd never get all the thought content. These lessons are very unique in this respect. We must recognize we're just touching the high places. Thus, that leave a lot of room for you to go back and explore the valleys and the lowlands and take home a lot of meat.
Let's begin with the beatitudes. Luke includes three beatitudes in v.20-21 that Matthew does NOT mention. (#1) "Blessed are ye poor..." (#2) "Blessed are ye that hunger now..." (t3) "Blessed are ye that weep now..." At first glance, one might be inclined to think this is a short-changed version of beatitude #1, #2, and #4 in Matthew's list. However; Luke gives the opposite corollary to these statements down in v.25, referred to as "Woes." The idea seems to be encouragement for perseverance and endurance when the going got rough. It would be better to be poor, and hungry, and sad in this life; if we're faced with'IBjie alternative, than, to eat, drink and be merry HERE and then suffer hell for eternity.
I see NO significant difference in v.27-36 of Luke's account; other than the fact that Matthew gives a much fuller account and puts more emphasis on that compared-to-the-Law-of-Moses aspect. Luke simply gives the content of what Jesus taught for our benefit. He does NOT give the fulfillment and comparison angle that Matthew gave. And, Luke does NOT include the section on almsgiving, prayer and fasting. From v.37 to the end of the chapter; the sequence and content is very much like Matthew ch. 7. The INWARD-MAN-PRINCIPLE is emphasized less in Luke's account and is less conspicuous; although, the thought is there. In v. 45, the principle is stated more analyletically than it is Matthew's account, "for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." Study v.45! Doesn't this get right down to the cutting-edge in distinguishing the Law of Moses from the Law of Christ? In Christ's kingdom; His word shapes and conditions our heart (call it attitude, beatitude, character, disposition, or what ever you like!). Then, you see, the conditioning of our heart controls our overt conduct. Thus, you see, we speak and act accordingly. A good heart begets good and proper conduct. An evil heart begets evil.
O.K. so much for the sermon of the mount. It has already been said that Mark and John DID NOT record the sermon on the mount. We've been trying to follow Luke's outline and there's a little section at the end of Luke ch. 5 that got squeezed out, so let's go back and catch that section, Luke 5:33-39. Let's read that! Are you ready, "And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. And he spoke also of a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was take out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new; for he saith, The old is better." O.K., now hold on to that and let's get Mark's account. Mark 2:18-22. Please turn to that. Let's read! "And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they came and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment; else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but the new wine must be put into new bottles." Now, Matthew's account is very similar; but, let's read it. Matthew 9:14-17. Please turn with me! Matthew 9:14 beginning, "Then came to him the disciples of John, saying Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast. No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment; for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottle perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved."
Remember, John the Baptist has been put in prison by Herod the ruler of Galilee. And, during Jesus' active tour over Galilee, John's disciples, without John of course, approached Jesus on one occasion with this question about fasting. They THOUGHT they saw a flaw in Jesus' character. Jesus and his disciples did not fast to the extent and in a ceremonial way as the Pharisees did. They wanted to know (Mark 2:18) "Why do...thy disciples fast not?" I sense there is a connection here to the last verses in John ch. 3 and first verse or two of John ch.4 with reference to the Pharisees; you might check that out. Do you remember John's speech and the argument about purifying? John said he must decrease, Jesus must increase? John said he was the friend of the bridegroom? Notice that Jesus (HERE) picked up on the SAME metaphor that John had used. I'm talking about the bridegroom illustration which we have already said is parallel to the way Jesus used the kingdom idea. And, you might remember, Jesus also taught about FASTING in the sermon on the mount, Matt. 6:16-18. You might want to review our discussion there in light of what is said here. But, here's the point you want to get out of Jesus' discussion here. John's disciples and the Pharisees were looking upon Jesus as a REFORMER of Judiasmj (that is) one who improved upon the old system. But, that was the wrong concept! I tried to emphasize this before; this was a new ball game. Jesus' Law should NOT be looked upon as re-defining of the Mosaic system! It's the root cause of much religious mis-understanding in the world today. So, Jesus gave two parable to make the point. The Pharisees were looking upon Jesus as PATCHING-UP the old system. Jesus simply said, the patch-idea won't work. You've got to get away from that kind of thinking. That new spiritual concept of the inward man; that Jesus taught, simply COULD NOT BE patched on to the Mosaic system. It just wouldn't fit. It would have even ruined the old Mosaic system. This spiritual, inward- thinking, the-heart-controls-our-overt-conduct principle that Jesus taught was based upon the individual. There's NO WAY it would fit ONTO the old NATIONAL system that Israel knew. How could one be stoned to death for mentally contemplating murder, or adultery? Yet, that's the same as murder, Jesus said. So, Jesus said, it's not like the patch idea! You can't put a new patch on old clothing, it won't work. You see, that was a familiar principle to them. Clothing was more valuable then, than now, and clothing was often patched; like my mother used to do it on the farm. Jesus said in essence, it's more like the system of wine storage that you are familiar with. They made wine-bottles out of goat skins. The skins were properly scraped, cured, shaped, tied and fabricated into storage containers. As the wine fermented, the bottles would stretch and shape themselves to the stress. But, old and used bottles hardened and wouldn't stretch. So, when the wine fermented and the old bottles came under stress they would break and leak and waste the wine; therefore, they must NOT be used. Thus, Jesus was not repairing the old Mosaic system; Jesus was inaugurating a new kingdom. So, these Jews had to adjust their thinking. So, don't think of Jesus' kingdom as a patched-up Mosaic system. Don't think of Jesus' kingdom as fitted into an old container. Think of Jesus' kingdom as a new container, filled with NEW contents, new laws and new principles. Have a good day!