Summary of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying…

Matthew 5:1-2

Summary of Sermon on the Mount

Here is the moral summary of what Jesus is saying in the sermon on the Mount. This functions like a mini-guidebook / paraphrase / introduction to Jesus’ great teaching.

Ch 5:1-11 The Blessing Of Living the Way of Jesus

Jesus starts off his grand sermon full of “blessed” sayings. These serve as an invitation for hearers and readers to partake in the blessedness of the the lifestyle of the kingdom. The following commandments, then, are not meant to weigh anyone down, but they are meant to give life to all who are willing to live in such a radical lifestyle.

Ch 5:13-16 Reminder of Your Identity

Jesus gives readers two identity pieces. They are the “light of the world” and the “salt of the earth.” They are saying similar things, and of all the sermon on the mount, this one heavily focuses on the identity of his hearers. Do they realize that by taking up this kingdom lifestyle, they become the way the world sees God (hence they are the “light of the world”), and the way  the world is transformed around them (hence they are the “salt of the earth”)?

Ch 5:17-20 Obey all the Commandments.

Jesus sets the standard of righteous and establishes himself and all who follow him not as lawbreakers, but law-abiders. Jesus connects lawful living with righteousness, a status he desires all to have. Jesus’ point here: Kingdom citizens obey all the laws of God, no matter how small they are, not because they will be perfectionists like the scribes and Pharisees (although they are not perfect), but in that pursuit of righteous perfection, they grow closer in intimacy with God.

Ch 5:21-26 Don’t be Angry with People

Jesus’ point: Don’t be angry with people, but always seek to reconcile with people. Reconciliation is the way of the kingdom because Jesus is into long-term relationships and without reconciliation, there are no long-term relationships. To be a kingdom citizen is to learn to forgive and to be a gracious person.

Ch 5:27-30 Don’t Commit Sexual Immorality

Don’t commit adultery (have sexual interactions with someone not your spouse). As a matter of fact, don’t even look at a woman (or man) lustfully, cutting down to the core of a person’s desires and intentions. The reason is because all sexual sins are serious, serious to the point that you should do whatever you can within your power to avoid sexual sins. The temple of the Holy Spirit is extremely extremely precious.

Ch 5:31-32 Divorce

Jesus wants us to honor marriage by not divorcing.

Ch 5:33-37 Oaths

Jesus wants us to to be people who honor our commitments by doing what we’ll say we’ll do. (let our yes be YES!).

Ch 5:38-42 Retaliation

Do not operate in an evil spirit by adding to cycles of revenge and retaliation. Operate in the opposite spirit by loving when someone hates, blessing when someone curses, and turning the cheek when someone hits. This is one of the most obvious ways that Christians are set apart (yet very poorly demonstrated in an American society of “rights”).

Ch 5:43-48 Love Your Enemies

Pray for your enemies because God loves them too.

Ch 6:1-4 Giving to the Needy

Give and be generous to the needy. But don’t do it to boast before others. God loves just living with an audience of one.

Ch 6:5-14 The Lord’s Prayer

Pray to God like you actually have a loving relationship with him, because…you do.

Ch 6:16-18 Fasting

Fast regularly. And like giving, don’t do it to boast before others.

Ch 6:19-24 Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

Kingdom citizens have kingdom perspectives on value, and that means not valuing things we purchase on earth, but valuing eternal fruit. So don’t horde, but invest in eternal things of value. Oh, and give up the idolatry of money, because chances are, you have it.

Ch 6:25-34 Do Not Be Anxious

Lots of people worry about their lives; Kingdom citizens are not, because they recognize that their loving Father will take care of all their needs if they ask. Focus on more important things like “seeking first the kingdom of God.”

Ch 7:1-5 Judging Others

Don’t be a hypocrite, but always judge yourself first before you help others find God. Oh, and don’t give holy things to people who don’t understand it.

Ch 7:7-11 Ask, and It Will Be Given

If you need something from God, ask; he’ll always hear.

Ch 7:12-13 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Ch 7:13-14 Enter the way to eternal life because many people don’t enter it.

Ch 7:15-20 A Tree and Its Fruit

True Christians demonstrate their Christianity by the fruit of their actions. Don’t be a talker, but a doer of righteous things.

Ch 7:21-23 I Never Knew You

The most important thing about being a kingdom citizen is knowing God intimately. Even if you do lots of great kingdom things, but you don’t have that, you missed the point completely.

Ch 7:24-27 Build Your House on the Rock

A true Christian listens and obeys what God says. It’s the only assurance of blessedness.

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I hope to live my life based on Jesus’ teachings and I hope this summary was helpful for you to do so as well.

Posted by Phillip Chan

Phil has been writing in the Black Box for 10 years. His passion is to grow in his love for Jesus to obey his purposes in our generation.

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