Why did Jesus preach the Sermon on the Mount?

Here is John Wesley on the purpose of the Sermon on the Mount:

The Son of God, who came from heaven, is here showing us the way to heaven; to the place which he hath prepared for us; the glory he had before the world began. He is teaching us the true way to life everlasting; the royal way which leads to the kingdom; and the only true way, — for there is none besides; all other paths lead to destruction.

This description, of course, is a scandal to 21st century theology and biblical studies. It is, however, part of the doctrinal standards of the United Methodist Church.

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10 thoughts on “Why did Jesus preach the Sermon on the Mount?

  1. Thank you. Awesome post and amazing links.
    As a layman, I wonder why these doctrines were not highlighted at New member classes.
    They are gold.

  2. Why did Jesus preach the Sermon on the Mount? Good question. Very happily, Wesley got the answer right. Not surprisingly post-moderns find that a bit inconvenient.

  3. Of course, there is another perspective other than Wesley’s.
    I am referring to Wesley’s comments in #4.
    Take a closer look.

    5Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,2and he began to teach them.

    Jesus saw the crowds.
    Jesus went up on a mountainside just as Moses went up the mountainside at an earlier time.
    Jesus “sat down” as was the usual and customary practice of the Rabbi or authorized, qualified teachers of of the Jewish Community in Christ’s day.

    It was the disciples who come to Christ and it is the disciples who Christ’s words are directed to.
    Although the crowds would be privy to the great words and teachings of Christ the primary focus was on the disciple. The promises are made to the followers of Christ. His disciples.
    The crowds or multitudes are amazed. There is hope in the words this man speaks.
    An “invitation to follow” is implied.

    The Jews would remember Moses on the Mount and they would not miss it was Jesus siting on top of that mount. The Jew would know the position and seated position of the Rabbi as an authoritative posture and customary practice of the great teachers (Rabbi) of the day. To learn at the feet of the Rabbi was a privileged position to be in.

    In Matthew 23 Jesus said:
    “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.

    On the day the Sermon on the Mount was given it was Christ who sat in the seat of Moses.
    The Scribes and Pharisees would be furious and any gentiles in the crowd would be delighted with the hope in Christ’s words.

    Why did Jesus preach the Sermon on the Mount?
    Much was accomplished that day.:)

  4. I read you’re ” I can’t understands” and am surprised you are surprised.
    If people in and outside the church can eliminate much of the teaching and preaching of the prophets and apostles of old, what makes you think Wesley will not share the same fate in the minds of these persons? It has been estimated that about 25% of those that stand behind the pulpit do not believe what they preach. To some the CC is simply a place to promote a personal agenda.

    Wesley is highly respected in most Christian circles as was the Methodist Church at one time.
    As far as your thread “Why did Jesus preach the Sermon on the Mount?”
    I think that sermon, in particular, accomplished much more than the thread expressed but can take a lot of space to get into not available here.
    The”Heaven on Earth” statement you made…you will have to expand on. I am not sure I understand what you are saying.

  5. “The Son of God, who came from heaven, is here showing us the way to heaven;…”
    “This description, of course, is a scandal to 21st century theology and biblical studies.”

    Only to the Calvinists. The problem is, almost everyone is a Calvinist now. The 400 years of brainwashing into “God does it all for you” have paid off mightily for the Devil.

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