I. "THE PEOPLE WERE ASTONISHED AT HIS DOCTRINE."
A. Basically Jesus taught that attitudes were more important than actions.
1. The religious Pharisees emphasized the actions of a person, they were very exacting in their actions.
2. Jesus maintained that wrong attitudes could totally negate right actions.
3. This became the dominate teaching of Christianity, that God is interested in the attitude of your heart more than your actions. This was not something new, God said to Samuel the prophet, "Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart."
a. Paul wrote to the Corinthians,
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
B. In the beatitudes, the basic issues are issues of the inward man.
1. They that mourn.
2. Poor in spirit.
4. Hunger and thirsting after righteousness.
6. Pure in heart.
C. Striking a fatal blow to the outward righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, He said: "Except your righteousness exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees you will in no case enter the kingdom of heaven.
1. He then gave illustrations to clarify what He meant.
2. He showed the vast disparity between how the scribes and Pharisees were teaching the people the law, and what God meant when He gave the law.
a. You have been taught that you are not to murder; i.e., take a club and beat someone to death, or knife someone.
b. Is that not true? Is that not what the law says? Yes, but the intent of the law was greater than that. I say unto you, "You are not to hate your brother or speak disdainfully of him."
c. You have been taught that adultery is to have intimate physical encounters with someone outside of marriage. But I say unto you if you look at another person and lust after them in your heart, you are guilty of violating the law of God.
d. With each of His illustrations, Jesus took it from the actions in the outside physical realm and brought it to the inner realm of the attitudes from which the actions sprang.
e. In another place Jesus said,
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
f. He clearly taught that God is more interested in what is going on in your heart. That is where sin and rebellion against God begins.
g. Sin begins long before the action transpires. It begins in the mind. James said:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
h. Thus the resistance to sin must begin in your heart.
1. Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile his body.
2. Bringing every thought into captivity unto obedience to Jesus Christ.
3. You do not entertain it in your mind. If you fantasize over it, you will find yourself indulging in it if the opportunity arises.
D. Our deeds of righteousness are to be done in such a fashion that we do not draw attention to ourselves. Do not do things to receive the outward plaudits of man, but the inward satisfaction of knowing that whatever you do in word or deed, you are doing it all for His glory.
E. Beware of false prophets.
1. Wolves can disguise themselves as sheep.
2. By their fruit you will know them.
3. There were some who were saying, "Lord, Lord," but will not make it into heaven.
II. THEY WERE AMAZED AT HIS STYLE OF TEACHING FOR HE TAUGHT AS ONE HAVING AUTHORITY, AND NOT AS THE SCRIBES.
A. The scribes would not teach with authority. They would read a passage of scripture, then they would begin to quote what the various rabbi's opinions were on the passage. They would never say, this is what it means.
B. Go back through the sermon and note how Jesus spoke with authority.
1. In the last beatitude He said,
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.
a. Do you see how He equated Himself with righteousness?
b. To be persecuted for the sake of Jesus will bring great reward in heaven.
2. Concerning the law He said:
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. He declares that He has come to fulfill the law.
3. Note what I say unto you.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence,
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
C. You must acknowledge Him as Lord to enter the kingdom of heaven, however, not every one that says to Him, "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom.
D. He intimated that He would be the final judge of who can enter and who will not be able to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, "Lord, Lord," have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
1. They will say to Me. "Lord, Lord."
2. I will say to them, "Depart."
E. He declared the importance of doing what He said.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: