Considered one of Jesus’ earliest and most quintessential collection of teachings, The Sermon on the Mount includes The Lord’s Prayer, The Beatitudes, and a host of other familiar sayings and parables.
But the most important part of The Sermon on The Mount is not what is being said but Who is saying it. We take this for granted today, but Matthew notes that the first reaction to this set of teachings was an amazement that Jesus was saying these things on His Own Authority.
Whenever the scribes taught, they appealed to the highest authority they could to substantiate the truth of what they said. Rabbi’s would often provide lengthy rabbinic genealogies to support what they taught. Throughout this sermon Jesus appeals to the Highest authority there was – Himself. Every single time (fourteen total) He said “But I say to you…”, it was a theological thunderclap. This is God made flesh, divinity in human form.
Jesus enters the scene as a type of Moses. He was a Second Moses like He was a Second Adam. He is teaching on a mountain, just like Moses got the tablets on Mount Sinai. But Moses was an intermediary between God and man while Jesus was both a human intermediary as well as God Himself. Instead of writing on a tablet of stone, He writes His word in our hearts.
As you consider the teachings of The Sermon on The Mount, do not forget the incredible claim Jesus is making concerning His own authority. If it is true in this sermon, it is true in our lives. He is not just the messenger behind these teachings. He is the author. The Authority who humbled Himself and became a man so we might know what is true.