Matthew 4-6

"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..."   Matthew 5:1-2, RSV  

So begins what many believe to be the most important sermon ever preached by Jesus. It is filled with instruction that went beyond the formal commandments of God by showing the reasoning behind so many of these commands.

While it is important for us to remember that this sermon was given prior to the cross and therefore was certainly instruction aimed at Jews who were living under the Law of Moses, it is also a transitional sermon that began to bridge the gap between the Old and New Laws. And contained in this sermon are eternal truths that are as applicable under the Christian era as they were under the Patriarchal and Mosaic dispensations that had gone before.

The study for today is the 4th through the 6th chapters of Matthew. It may be the longest study of the entire 90 day challenge, but don't be discouraged by its vast scope. Instead, be encouraged and in awe of the beauty in Jesus' revealing of God's reasons behind so many of His commandments.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus showed that the most important part of our obedience is the state of our hearts. By "the state of our hearts", we are not at all talking about mere "good intentions" but instead we are focusing on the motivation for why we as servants of God are so willing to give our lives up to Jesus in complete and loving obedience to His will.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."Matthew 5:8, RSV