Mat_5:1. And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain:
For convenience, and quietude, and to be out of the way of traffic, he went up into a mountain. Elevated doctrines would seem most at home on the high places of the earth.
Mat_5:1. And when he was set,
For that was the mode of Eastern teaching,
Mat_5:1. His disciples came unto him:
They made the inner ring around him, and others gathered around them.
Mat_5:2. And he opened his mouth, and taught them, —
Chrysostom says that he taught them even when he did not open his mouth; his very silence was instructive. But when he did open his mouth, what streams of wisdom flowed forth! He “taught them.” He did not open his mouth to make an oration, He was a Teacher, so his aim was to teach those who came to him; and his ministers best follow their Lord’s example when they keep to the vein of teaching. The pulpit is not the place for the display of oratory and eloquence, but for real instruction: “He opened his mouth, and taught them,”-
Mat_5:2-3. Saying, Blessed —
The Old Testament closes with the word “curse.” The New Testament begins here, in the preaching of Christ, with the word “Blessed.” He has changed the curse into a blessing: “Blessed”-
Mat_5:3.Are the poor in spirit: for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.
This is a paradox that puzzles many, for the poor in spirit often seem to have nothing; yet they have the kingdom of heaven, so they have everything, he who thinks the least of himself is the man of whom God thinks the most. You are not poor in God’s sight if you are poor in spirit.
Mat_5:4. Blessed are they that mourn : for they shall be comforted.
They are not only poor in spirit, but they are weeping, lamenting, mourning. Worldlings are frivolous, frolicsome, light-hearted, and loving everything that is akin to mirth; yet it is not said of them, but of those that mourn, that “they shall be comforted.”
Mat_5:5. Blessed are the meek:
Not your high-spirited, quick-tempered men, who will put up with no insult, your hectoring, lofty ones, who are ever ready to resent any real or imagined disrespect, there is no blessing here for them; but blessed are the gentle, those who are ready to be thought nothing of, —
Mat_5:5. For they shall inherit the earth.
Some say that the best way to get through the world is to swagger along with a coarse impudence, and to push out of your way all who may be in it; but there is no truth in that idea. The truth lies in quite another direction: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”
Mat_5:6. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
The course of these beatitudes is like going downstairs. They began with spiritual poverty, went on to mourning, came down to gentle-spiritedness, and now we come to hunger and thirst. Yet we have been going up all the time, for here we read, “They shall be filled.” What more can we have than full satisfaction?
Mat_5:7. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
“The merciful” are those who are always ready to forgive, always ready to help the poor and needy, always ready to overlook what they might well condemn; and “they shall obtain mercy.”
Mat_5:8. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
When the heart is washed, the dirt is taken from the mental eye. The heart that loves God is connected with an understanding that perceives God. There is no way of seeing God until the heart is renewed by sovereign grace. It is not greatness of intellect, but purity of affection that enables us to see God.
Mat_5:9. Blessed are the peacemakers :
Not only the passively peaceful, but the actively peaceful, who try to rectify mistakes, and to end all quarrels in a peaceful way.
Mat_5:9. For they shall be called the children of God.
They shall not only be the children of God, but men shall call them so; they shall recognize in them the likeness to the peace-making God.
Mat_5:10. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.
They have it now, they are participating in it already; for, as Christ was persecuted, and he is again persecuted in them, as they are partakers of his sufferings, so are they sharers in his kingdom.
Mat_5:11-12. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
You have an elevation by persecution; you are lifted into the peerage of martyrdom, though you occupy but an inferior place in it, yet you are in it; therefore, “rejoice, and be exceeding glad.”
Mat_5:1. And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
You notice that the Preacher sat down, and that his disciples stood around him. If you find it somewhat warm and trying tonight, remember that you have the best of it, for you sit while the speaker stands. Concerning our Lord, we read: “When he was set, his disciples came unto him:” —
Mat_5:2. And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, —
Perhaps someone says, “He could not have taught them without opening his mouth” I have found that a great many try to teach without opening their mouths; but the earnest preacher speaks with all his might. So did Jesus in the open air on the mountain side: “He opened his mouth, and taught them.” Such grand things as he had to say ought to come from open portals, so he mumbled not, but” opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,”—
Mat_5:3. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed.” See how Jesus begins his Sermon on the Mount, he begins with benedictions. He is a cloud that is full of rain, and that empties itself upon the earth. The moment you begin to know Christ, you begin to have blessings; and the more you know of him, the more blessed you will be. “Blessed are the poor in spirit:” not those who boast themselves of spiritual riches and personal goodness, but the lowly, the meek, the trembling, the humble, the poor in spirit, “for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.”
Mat_5:4. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Let them be comforted now in the prospect of future comfort. There are no mourning hearts that mourn over sin, and mourn after God, that shall be deserted by their God: “they shall be comforted.”
Mat_5:5. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
They do in the truest sense enjoy even this life; their contented spirit makes them monarchs. The great man, with all his wealth, is often uneasy with a craving ambition for more; but the quiet spirits of God’s people find a kingdom everywhere. The mountains and the valleys belong really to him who can, with happy eye, look upon them, and then lift his face to heaven, and feel, “My Father made them all.”
Mat_5:6. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
They want to be better; they are hungry and thirsty after more holiness. They boast not of personal perfection, they are hungering and thirsting after righteousness, but they have not attained to it yet.
Mat_5:6. For they shall be filled.
God will fill them; and when he fills men with his fullness, they are full indeed.
Mat_5:7. Blessed are the merciful:
The forgiving, the generous, the kind: “Blessed are the merciful:” —
Mat_5:7-8. For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
There is such a connection between purity of heart and purity of understanding that the man whose eye is clarified by holiness shall see God.
Mat_5:9. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
They shall not only be the children of God, but people shall call them by that name. There is something so Godlike in trying to put away discord, and to remove anger, and to promote love, that it makes men feel that peacemakers must be the children of God.
Mat_5:10-11. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
It is not when men truthfully speak evil concerning you, but when they say it falsely; not when they say evil against you because of your ill tempers which provoke them, but when they do it falsely, for Christ’s sake, then, “blessed are ye.”
Mat_5:12. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
And you are treading in their steps, so you are entering into their heritage. You have your beginning with them, and you shall have your end with them. If persecuted with them, you shall also reign with them.
This exposition consisted of readings from Psalms 149.; and Mat_5:1-12.