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Matthew Chapter 5 

Memory verses for this week:   1 Pet 1:25  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 

Introduction: In last week’s lesson, we saw the temptations that Christ faced there in the wilderness.   Christ was not moved by the temptations, and he stood strong and did not fall for one trick of Satan.   We closed with the call of Andrew, Simon, James, and John into the ministry.   All four men responded and immediately followed Jesus.


I.  The Teaching of the Beatitudes – The Sermon on the Mount

Mat 5:1  And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

Mat 5:2  And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

Christ saw the multitudes in his personal ministry, and he still sees them today and loves and cares for them.   Christ has mercy for those who will seek after him.

Mat 9:36  But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

In verse 2, we see Christ teaching.   No man ever taught like Jesus Christ.  He was the master teacher.   Some said ‘never spake man like this man’.  His teaching was with authority because not only did he create the earth and all that is there in, but he was part of the Godhead that penned the Word of God.

Mat 7:28  And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

Mat 7:29  For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.


John 7:45  Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?

John 7:46  The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.


Mat 5:3  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:4  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Mat 5:5  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Why are the poor in spirit blessed?  It is due to the fact that they realize their spiritual need.  They hunger for spiritual needs, and all those that come to Jesus seeking mercy and forgiveness find salvation.  Those that do have a guaranteed entrance into heaven one day.  Until we are poor in spirit, Christ will never be real and precious to us.  But oh what he means to the child of God.   Those that mourn are blessed because the mourn for the sin in their lives.  Those that mourn will be comforted God promises.  The meek will be blessed.   What makes us a meek person?  First and foremost is our inward calmness and the tranquility of our mind.   We don’t seek after honor or glory, but do things in a loving and compassionate way without regard for rewards or recognition.   A good example of a meek man was Moses.   When God called him to do the work and lead the people, he tried to tell God to use his brother Aaron who was a smoother talker whereas he was slow of speech.  But God chose Moses to the lead the people.

Num 12:3  (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)


Exo 4:10  And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

Exo 4:11  And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

Exo 4:12  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

Exo 4:13  And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.

Exo 4:14  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.

Exo 4:15  And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.

Mat 5:6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Mat 5:7  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Mat 5:8  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

The people of God should hunger after righteousness.   We should desire above all things to follow Christ’s example and be obedient to the commandments.  When we have that desire, it says we will be filled.   A person who is merciful is one who thinks of others more than themselves.    God says the pure in heart are blessed.  Pure in heart mean we are sincere and totally given to the Lord.   We have one agenda, and that is to serve the Lord will all our heart and soul.   All Christians should be pure in heart.  We should be merciful because we have obtained mercy. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy” (1 Pet. 2:9–10).

Mat 5:9  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Mat 5:10  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:11  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Mat 5:12  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

There are not many peacemakers today.  Lots of troublemakers, but few that are concerned about bringing people together and keeping peace in the church and in our families.  God is pleased with those who are peacemakers, and said they shall be called the children of God.   And when persecution comes (and all that will live Godly will suffer persecution the bible tells us), we have a promise that we will be blessed.   It is important to remember that others who came before us endured great persecution that we might have the liberty of preaching the gospel today.   When we have persecution come upon us, he tells us to rejoice and be glad because we have a great reward in heaven.   The apostles did that very thing when they were beaten.

Acts 5:40  And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

Acts 5:41  And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Acts 5:42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

Jesus warned his disciples that tough times would come after he left them.

John 15:20  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.


II.  The Believer is to be Witness to the World

Mat 5:13  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Salt is used to season our food and give it a good taste.  Food without salt seems to be lacking something and just does not have a perfect taste about it.  Christians who are not a witness for the Lord leave a bad taste for the cause of Christianity.

Mat 5:14  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Mat 5:15  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 Christians should be a light in a dark place.   We should be a shining spiritual light of hope to the lost in this wicked world.   Matthew uses the example of a city being on a hill.  You can’t hide a city on a hill.   This probably indicates that God wants us to stay on a high plane spiritually and be out where others can see our light.   The term ‘bushel’ relates to making our livelihood.  Some people are so involved in making a living that they have no time for Christ and the things of God.  Absolutely nothing, especially money, should stand between us and our Lord.   We should be a witness first and foremost in our lives.   We have to talk about something when we meet others.  Let’s tell them about what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has done for us.   We can all tell that story.  Verse 16 tells us to work and live in such a way that others will see our good works and give God the glory for it.


J. Vernon McGee said this about being salt and light in this world.

God’s people in any age and under any condition are both salt and light in the world. The Scots translate “savour” by the more expressive word tang. I like their word much better. “If the salt has lost its tang.” The problem today is that most church members have not only lost their tang as salt, but as pepper they have lost their pep also. We have very few salt and pepper Christians in our day. Now salt doesn’t keep fermentation and that type of thing from taking place, but it will arrest it. You and I ought to be the salt in the earth and have an influence for good in the world.

Christians are also the light of the world. Certainly in the Kingdom the believers are going to be the light of the world. This is a tremendous principle for us. We need to be a light in our neighborhood and wherever we go. We have no light within ourselves, but the Word of God is light. Being a light means giving out the Word of God in one way or another. This doesn’t mean that you should be quoting Scripture all the time, but it does mean that you are to share the light that God has given you. It is very easy to cultivate some person, then quietly and graciously introduce them to a Bible-teaching church or radio program. There are many ways in which you can be light in the world. [i]

III.  Christ’s Relationship to the Law

Mat 5:17  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Mat 5:18  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.

Many in Christ’s day perceived him to be a trouble maker set out to destroy all the traditions and commandments of the Lord.   He did bring in a revolutionary new way in serving the Lord, but he did not come to destroy a single law or the teachings of the prophets.  Jesus came to fulfill the law, and only he could do that.   Jesus lived without sin, something none of us could do.   And by living that perfect life, He became that one perfect sacrifice that would bring salvations to countless numbers of people through the years.  He says in verse 18 that not even one jot or one tittle would pass from the law until all had been fulfilled.   When Christ died on Calvary, he fulfilled the ceremonial part of the law.  The Mosaic Law (The 10 Commandments) are still in effect today.  The purpose of them is to bring the sinner guilty before God. 

Rom 3:19  Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Rom 3:20  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Matthew Henry said this about the fulfilling the law.

"Verily I say unto you, I, the Amen, the faithful Witness, solemnly declare it, that till heaven and earth pass, when time shall be no more, and the unchangeable state of recompences shall supersede all laws, one jot, or one tittle, the least and most minute circumstance, shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled;’’ for what is it that God is doing in all the operations both of providence and grace, but fulfilling the scripture? Heaven and earth shall come together, and all the fulness thereof be wrapped up in ruin and confusion, rather than any word of God shall fall to the ground, or be in vain. The word of the Lord endures for ever, both that of the law, and that of the gospel. Observe, The care of God concerning his law extends itself even to those things that seem to be of least account in it, the iotas and the tittles; for whatever belongs to God, and bears his stamp, be it ever so little, shall be preserved.   

Mat 5:19  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:20  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.

 It is certainly wrong to teach that it is permitted to break the commandments today.   We are under grace, but we are not to use our freedom as an excuse to fulfill the fleshly desires of the flesh.   He says unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  These were very self-righteous people who worshipped God with their lips, but their hearts were far from God.   They appeared righteous to God, but they were lost.  The way we can have greater righteousness comes from only one way.  Know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  By his imputed righteousness, we can stand before God justified from our sins. 

Mat 5:21  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

Mat 5:22  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.

To kill is wrong.  It was wrong in Old Testament times, and it is still wrong today.   And we might add that killing innocent babies is a sin that man will stand before God and answer for one day.  If says in verse 22 that we should not be angry with our brother.  If there are hard feelings, we need to get those things lined out and make things right.  The word Raca means ‘worthless one.’  To be guilty of some deed concerning your brother would be worthy of being brought before the councils to be tried.  I think wise counsel would be to get along, and not condemn our fellow brethren or call them foolish names.

Mat 5:23  Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

Mat 5:24  Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Mat 5:25  Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Mat 5:26  Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

 The bible tells us here that if we come and bring our gift to the altar, and we remember that we have something against a brother or sister, we should leave the gift and go and make things right with the one with whom we have the problem.   Verse 25 speaks of how we can be brought to judgment quickly by an adversary and be quickly placed in prison.  But if we correct the problem quickly, it could be reckoned like settling out of court.  Things could be cleared without a judge being involved.   He tells us to get every minor thing cleared up before coming back to the altar.  God wants Christian brethren to dwell in unity and harmony, and to all have the mind of Christ.

2 Cor 13:11  Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.


Psa 133:1  A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Psa 133:2  It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

Psa 133:3  As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.


Mat 5:27  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

Mat 5:28  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

We are commanded to not commit sexual sins.  Verse 28 says that for us to look upon a woman with lust is to comment adultery in the heart.  Under the law, a person guild of adultery was stoned to death.  I heard a preacher on the radio pointing out that sex within marriage is God’s perfect plan for our lives.  It is built upon trust and true intimacy.  When we break out of those boundaries, we lesson the value of our love and may eventually lose our ability to truly love.  That is why so many marriages end in divorce today.  Not trusting God and doing things His way.   We can’t improve upon God’s plan.   Satan will try and convince you there is a better way.  But he is a liar.

Mat 5:29  And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Mat 5:30  And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

We are told that if our eye or hand offends us and causes us to sin, we would be better off to cut that hand off or pluck out our eye than to continue as we are and cause the whole body to be sent into hell.   In other words, if something stands between you and turning your whole life over to Christ for salvation, then do whatever it takes to come to Jesus.  I believe God’s mercy and grace will reach down and save any man or woman who truly wants to be saved and are serious with the Lord.

IV.  Jesus and His Teachings on Divorce

Mat 5:31  It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

Mat 5:32  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.

One of the clear teachings of the bible concerns marriage and divorce.  God has always and shall always intend for a man and woman to come together as partners for life.   Only the sin of fornication is just cause to seek a divorce.  And we are not commanded to divorce, we are given an exception if we choose.  I believe if all possible, we should try to reconcile all differences and keep our marriages intact if possible.

 V.  Things Said of Old Time

Mat 5:33  Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

Mat 5:34  But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

Mat 5:35  Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

Mat 5:36  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

Mat 5:37  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Jesus teaches us to not swear.   We are just to live honestly and mean what we say.  Say YES and NO, and mean what you say.  There is no ‘gray’ area with the Lord where you can be ‘sort of’ right or almost wrong.  If you are unsure, most likely it is wrong.  God wants men and women of integrity whose words mean something.

Mat 5:38  Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

Mat 5:39  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.

Mat 5:40  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

Mat 5:41  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

Mat 5:42  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

We are warned that it is not our responsibility to get even with those who have wronged us.  “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.”   God will take care of all the wrongs committed against us.  Those that say “I will forgive, but I won’t forget” have never really forgiven.  Forgiving means really forgetting it all and putting it behind us.

Mat 5:43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

Mat 5:44  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;

Mat 5:45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Mat 5:46  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

Mat 5:47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Mat 5:48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

We are commanded to love all men.   We are not to love their sins, but we are to love their souls.  And we have a responsibility as a church to tell them about the saving power of Jesus’ blood.   The preaching and spread of gospel is our responsibility.  

Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge.  The lessons may not be sold without consent.   If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343. 

Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.