“It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ.” (The Desire of Ages, p. 83)
“Let us in imagination go back to that scene, and, as we sit with the disciples on the mountainside, enter into the thoughts and feelings that filled their hearts. Understanding what the words of Jesus meant to those who heard them, we may discern in them a new vividness and beauty, and may also gather for ourselves their deeper lessons.” —Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 1
The Sermon on the Mount contains more than just the Beatitudes. In the verses following those words, Jesus lays out the most practical, the most realistic description of what it means to be a Christian, what it means to be a follower of Christ.
For the Jews who were there—whether they were peasants, rabbis, merchants, or fishermen—how would the ideas of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” or “Turn the other cheek” strike them? How could they fit those ideas into their belief system, which included being superior to those around them because they had “the truth.”
What would you have thought if you were there? Could you accept that, like an acorn, people can be perfect at every step, even if not fully, grown and matured? Can you accept that no matter what happens or what we do, God still loves us like the prodigal son?
Putting ourselves on the scene that day will help us hear the words of Jesus more clearly and understand what they should mean to us. But to do this, we have to take time each day—perhaps a thoughtful hour—reading and studying His words. The teachings in the Sermon on the Mount are a clear, practical application of what Jesus taught and how He lived.
This book is designed to make that thoughtful hour easier, to give a little structure and focus to a study of the life and words of Jesus. Whether you work through the pages as part of a group study or on your own, you will find a fresh look at the Sermon on the Mount and what it means to be a part of the kingdom of heaven.