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Friday, November 3, 2017

Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) - Part 1

We have finished with the eight parables of Matthew 13 and will be moving on to the ten remaining parables in Matthew. But for a moment I'd like to take what we've seen in Matthew 13 and apply these things to the setting of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 (which includes what we call "the Lord's Prayer").

Here is how Matthew 4 ends:
And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. And GREAT CROWDS followed him from Galilee and the Decap′olis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.
-Matthew 4:23-25
We see the setting: preaching "the gospel of the kingdom" which we know does not mention the Lord's death, burial and resurrection (when he announces His death in Matthew 16, the disciples are shocked and angry). This is for Israel. This preaching, and the miracles, are for Israel. Remember, in Matthew 10 the Lord forbids "the gospel of the kingdom" to be preached to anyone but Jews only.

So, we go from this outward ministry to all of Israel to this in Matthew 5:

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
As we saw in Matthew 13, he separated his disciples in Matthew 5 from the multitudes. He was giving them, NOT the Magna Carta for the present age church, but the rules of the promised kingdom in Israel. These men (plus Mathias) will "sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:28). Obviously, that is yet future.

We will see again this future kingdom as the setting for the parables yet to be examined.

Israel will have a kingdom (Acts 1:6), and the Apostles to the circumcision, preaching "the gospel for the circumcised" (Gal 2:7), will one day sit on those twelve thrones in that kingdom.

This gives us the context for the whole Sermon. Next time we will look more closely at "The Lord's Prayer." This will help us set the context for the parables yet to come.


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