Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 134

The Sermon on the Mount

This chapter is based on Matthew 5-7.

Christ seldom gathered His disciples alone to receive His words. It was His work to reach everyone, in words of warning, pleading, and encouragement, seeking to help all who would come to Him.

Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount especially to the disciples, but He spoke it within the hearing of the crowds. After ordaining the apostles, Jesus went to the seaside. In the early morning, people had begun to assemble. “When they heard how many things He was doing,” they “came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, ... power went out from Him and healed them all.” Mark 3:8; Luke 6:17-19.

The narrow beach did not provide even standing room, and Jesus led the way back to the mountainside. Reaching a level space that featured a pleasant gathering place, He sat down on the grass, and the disciples and the crowd followed His example.

The disciples sat close beside Him, eager to understand the truths they were to take to all lands and all ages. They believed that Jesus would soon establish His kingdom.

A feeling of expectancy also swept through the crowd. As the people sat on the green hillside, their hearts were filled with thoughts of future glory. Scribes and Pharisees looked forward to the day when they would rule over the hated Romans and possess the riches and splendor of the world’s great empire. Poor peasants and fishermen hoped to hear that they were going to exchange their small, poor homes, scanty food, and fear of having nothing for mansions and ease. They hoped that Israel would soon be honored before the nations as the Lord’s chosen and Jerusalem be exalted as the head of a universal kingdom.

Christ Disappointed the Hope of Worldly Greatness

In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ tried to undo the work that false education had done and to give His hearers a right understanding of His kingdom. Without combating their ideas of God’s kingdom, He told them the conditions for entering it, leaving them to draw their own conclusions about its nature. “Happy are they,” He said, “who recognize their spiritual poverty and feel their need of redemption.” The gospel is revealed, not to the

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