Mitch, Curtis & Edward Sri. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
“The Sermon on the Mount Part 1: The Message of the Kingdom (Matthew 5:1-48)” pp. 84-101.
The context for Matthew 5-7 is built upon Jesus’ proclamations of the kingdom of heaven. “Now, in his first major discourse in the Gospel, commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7), Jesus explains what it means to live under God’s reign” (Mitch 2010, 84). The disciples to whom Jesus speaks are to have a close relationship with God the Father through God the Son. “Moreover, Jesus asserts himself as the authoritative interpreter of the Torah, superseding all previous understandings of the law . . . and making his own teaching the new standard for righteousness” (Mitch 2010, 84).
Mitch observes Jesus’ actions of going up a mountain as reminiscent of Moses (Mitch 2010, 87). The idea of blessedness refers to “being in a fortunate situation” rather than having a particular emotional response (Mitch 2010, 87). “When his followers live by God’s standards, they are truly in a fortunate state in life, no matter what their circumstances may be, for they bring a glimmer of the joy and hope of the heavenly kingdom into the afflictions of the present world” (Mitch 2010, 88). Jesus is the ultimate blessed one, but he invites his believers to be like him. Mitch gives many Old Testament parallels of all the blessings which Jesus announces.
In verses 17-28 Jesus starts speaking of the Law. Mitch observes that here Jesus speaks clearly of his relationship to God’s Law (Mitch 2010, 93). “Jesus fulfills the law and prophets in one way through his entire life, death, and resurrection, as Matthew’s fulfillment quotations indicate. In another sense Jesus brings the law to fulfillment in his teaching, by showing the kind of life to which the law ultimately pointed” (Mitch 2010, 94). Jesus explicates this with six examples of the way God’s law is fulfilled through the inner attitudes (Mitch 2010, 95).