The book of Mathew is known as one of the four canonical gospels in the Bible.
Canon refers to the historical writings chosen by the church to serve as sacred scripture. Mathew is one of the books known as the “Synoptic Gospels,” because it tells the story of Jesus’s life. These gospels are written to essentially bring forth the telling of good news. These writings aren’t meant to be objective, rather to persuade and inspire. Mathew 5-7 tells the narrative of Jesus leading his disciples to the mountain top where he proceeded to teach them the word of God. This word was essentially the way one should live in order to get into the gates of heaven.
The first lesson he gives his followers in known as The Beatitudes. This translates into the eight blessings recounted by Jesus atop the mountain.
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
1Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mathew 5, 3-10)
These teaches ensure that if you live accordingly, you will live a delightful life. These teaches say that if you live accordingly you will be rewarded. If you mourn you will be comforted, if you are merciful you will be shown mercy, and if you are persecuted on behalf of your religious practices than the kingdom of heaven will be yours. The chapter compares the physical being to that of a lamp. “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mathew 5, 15-16). Jesus is telling his followers to take his teachings and share them with the world. Where if they hid the “light’ they would not be considered true followers of The Lord Jesus Christ and would be denied a seat in heaven.
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The remainder of chapter 5, goes on to touch on many of the ten commandments such as though shall not murder and though shall not commit adultery and the consequences of the latter. The book states that if one’s eye were to cause you to stumble to cut it out and throw it away for it is better to lose one body part rather than for your whole body to be thrown away into the fiery pits of hell. Adultery can even be committed by marrying that of a divorced woman. Jesus then goes on to teach about the old saying an eye for an eye and that if anyone were to smack you on one cheek, that they should turn the other. This meaning that one should not hold grudges or seek vengeance amongst that person rather than forgive them and move forward down the path of God. He teaches to Love your enemies and pray for those that prosecute you.
Chapter six has a recurring message of doing things in private and that in doing so you will be rewarded. It teaches not to pray in front of the many rather behind closed doors (Mathew 6, 5-6). He is stating that he wants you to stray away from the hypocrites who give praise in front of an audience, but not behind closed doors. These people are false prophets and will not receive the gift of eternal bliss in the kingdom of heaven. He teaches that one should fast in silent. Rather than walking the streets sucked out that one should rub oil on their head and wash their face so that it is not obvious that they are fasting. For an unseen God will see what is done in private and will reward you. This recurring aspect of an unseen God refers back to that of faith. One does all of this without any substantial evidence other than faith, and thus since they were unseen, an unseen God will reward them for their faith.
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Jesus then goes on to teach his disciples that they should not worry about their life. That they should not worry about where their next meal will come from or what type of clothes they wear. That God knows what they need and will provide for them such as he does the birds of the air. If you seek out his kingdom all of these things will be gifted to you (Mathew 6, 25-34). One point he makes is that you can not add an hour to your life by worrying. Essentially stating that worry will do nothing but cause misery and strife and thus will lead you away from the path of righteousness.
Chapter seven is the last of his teachings from the sermon on the mountain. It begins with Jesus speaking on judgement. Essentially if you judge others the same judgement will be passed back to you and will be measured the same of which you judged. It goes on to explain that one should help themselves before they are able to help others. Many people today try to get involved in other people’s issues when they have not quiet figured themselves out yet. They must remove the speck from their own eye, so that they will be able to see clearly and help remove the speck from another’s eye.
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The next message is, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” If you ask the Lord will deliver. If you seek the Lord you will find him, and if you knock: The Lord will let you in. Since the Lord gives to you, you should give unto others and treat them the way you ant to be treated. Again, there is this recurring message that one should not pass judgment and treat others kindly for it is how they would want to be treated.
Jesus then goes on to teach of false prophets and false disciples. He states that you will be able to tell between the false prophets and the true followers by that of their fruit. For a good tree can bare no bad fruit and a bad tree can bare no bad fruit, thus a bad tree will be cut down and thrown into the flames. The fruit is meant to represent the persons intentions. You can always find out the true identity of a person by their actions. If they have good intentions then they are true prophets, whereas those who don’t are false prophets and will face the fire. Same to that of people who say they are followers of the Lord, are not always true followers. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” They are posers in the eyes of the Lord. These people say they spread the word and cast out demons, while they continue to live a life of sin.
It was stated earlier in the book of Mathew that one can not serve two masters. They either love one and despise the other. There is no in-between. These false followers will be denied access to the kingdom of heaven and will be cat out as evil doers. Those who use these materials to build their house on will have a sturdy house that as of a rock and when the rains come their house will not fall and will remain sturdy. Whereas those that do not will have a foundation that of sand and when the rain comes their house will be washed away. The house is a representation of one’s life. It is saying that when someone falls on harsh times that they will have a sense of security and will not fall. That is however, if they chose to use these teachings as a building block for their lives. If they chose to stray away from these teachings, then when adversity hits there will be a sense of ambiguity and that sense of security will not be there. There life will crumble, because they built their house upon a faulty foundation.
Throughout the Sermon on the Mount, there are several recurring messages. The first being that in order to reach the gates of heaven one must be a beacon of light for others spreading the word of God. If they chose to hide this light and live a path of sin than they would be thrown into the fire. The second being that The Lord knows what you need and that there is no need to ask and to keep your prayers short. Just because you talk more does not mean you will be heard. Next is practicing your religion not only in the light of the world but also in private. He Lord is unseen, and the things done out of sight will be rewarded. The last being that if you live your life based on the principles of the Lord than you will live a life of security and if you choose to stray away from the lord your life will crumble and instead of eternal paradise you will be cast out into the flames of Hell.