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Week of July 5: The Sermon on the Mount

One of Jesus’ most well-known teachings is the Sermon on the Mount. On that day, crowds of people had come to hear Jesus. Jesus went up on a mountain in Galilee, sat down, and began to teach.

Jesus’ sermon is recorded across three chapters in the Gospel of Matthew, 5–7, and it tells how believers should live. While Matthew 5:1-2 specifies that Jesus taught His disciples, Matthew 7:28 reveals that the crowds listened to His sermon as well.

First, Jesus began with the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes describe God’s great blessings for believers. God’s kingdom belongs to the spiritually needy, God will comfort those who are sad, and God will give mercy to those who show mercy to others. Jesus gives believers reason to be glad when life on earth is hard because great rewards await in heaven.

Jesus also taught how believers should live in a world that does not honor Him. Jesus called believers “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:13-14). He said the good works of His followers should cause others to give glory to God.

God’s people had the law of Moses, but some of them—the Pharisees, in particular—were concerned mostly with the appearance of being righteous. They tried hard to look righteous on the outside, but it was all an act. Jesus warned against hypocrites, people who pretend to be something they’re not. When a person knows and loves Jesus, he or she has a changed heart that wants to honor Jesus.

Jesus taught people what it means to follow Him. He taught how people should live, how they should treat one another, and how to love God. People who trust and follow Jesus live to honor God and show what His kingdom is like.

As you talk with your kids, emphasize that this moral teaching was not a list of requirements for being accepted by God. Rather, Jesus described what a person’s life looks like when that person follows God and lives to honor Him. God’s standards remind us that we rely on His grace through the gift of salvation in His Son.

Thank you for for sharing the greatest story ever told with your children—God's plan to rescue us from our sin problem through His Son, Jesus. Join us next week as we learn about the cost of following Jesus.