Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Monday, August 31, 2015

"Where is the gospel in the Sermon on the Mount?"

The title of this post comes from a question that one of my friends placed on Facebook. I'm answering it here due to the length of the response. I wanted to give this careful consideration because my students at Sayers Classical Academy are currently memorizing Matthew 5.

Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount primarily to His disciples (Matt 5:1b): those who were already committed to following Him. Though His words were certainly intended to benefit the larger crowd as well (Matt 5:1a)-especially through bringing the conviction of a right understanding of the Law to bear upon them (Matt 5:21-48)-the focus on those who were already disciples meant that Jesus was not focused on evangelization in this sermon. Furthermore, the full revelation that the good news would involve His death, burial, and resurrection had not yet been given, and so the gospel-in a clear and specific way-was not revealed in the Sermon on the Mount. The closest thing that we have to a gospel word in the sermon is Matthew 5:17, as Jesus pointed to Himself as the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. For those looking for Scripture to be fulfilled-and for those brought low by the Law-this is a word of good news.

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