Matthew 4:23-25 leading into Matthew 5:1-48

Jesus went all about Galilee teaching the gospel, teaching in the synagogues, healing every disease and illness– every health issue of the people who came to Him in droves from all the various regions. Great crowds sought Him out for healing.  The scriptures mention many came from not only Galilee, but also the Decap’olis, Jerusalem, Judea and beyond the Jordan.

In Chapter 5, the account reads:  “Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain and when He sat down, His disciples came to Him..”  Not all of the crowds chose to follow Jesus up that mountain.   Most were content to remain in the valley area below.   The crowds were more interested in physical healing and miracles– and the Love Jesus has for all people kept Him from turning anyone away.   Seeing the crowds, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to climb up a mountainous area – no doubt, so the vast amount of people would be able to hear Him and see Him better as He was led to teach them more the Father wanted Him to say .

Many walked up that mountain with Jesus, and many went through the crowds to get as close to that mountain as possible- to get as close to Jesus as possible, to hear Him.     When Jesus sat down, His disciples came to Him.   His disciples were those who were more interested in a closer connection with Jesus than the majority of the crowds who basically sought Jesus out for what He could do for them.  Those who followed Him up that mountain as close as possible were those who wanted to follow Him for Who He Is- not for His gifts and blessings.

Once Jesus had arrived to the top of this mountainous elevation, He sat down.  Then His disciples came to Him.   The scriptures are very deliberate when they record, “He opened His mouth and taught them..”    The reason for this deliberation is because, Jesus never just spouted out teachings at whim-   He taught and spoke as He was led by the  Holy Spirit.    While on the mountain, The message He would give those Who wanted to hear Him, was a more elevated spiritual message for those who were willing to walk further with Him.  It was a message for those who wanted to be made ready for the Kingdom of God.

In verses 2–11, He opens His teaching to these people describing what it really means to be blessed before the Father.

3:  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven

4:  Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5:  Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth

6:  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

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

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

9:  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10:  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of     Heaven.

11:  Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and  utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in Heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you…

Then Jesus continued on telling those who wanted to hear more  how they were the Light of the World – and the salt of the Earth.  Both Light and Salt   take away the darkness and blandness of this Earth- and those who would continue to walk a closer walk with Jesus- our King in Exile, will allow the Holy Spirit to make them one of His lights to draw others to the Father- and His salt, to add flavor and distinction where there is mixture with no spiritual life .  Let the reader read the rest of that beautiful chapter where Jesus continues His teachings on really saying “no” to oneself so that they can become a child of His Kingdom.   He ends this teaching with …”You must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect..”      While we will never be perfect like our Heavenly Father, we can be the best possible for the capacity that God has given us- and only through His grace. God’s enabling power along with our cooperation to allow Him to grant us that desire to become transformed into His image–without limiting or blocking His Spirit.

Jesus has so much to teach us, but only when we are ready to hear.   Those who are not content with mere healings and blessings – but want to follow Him up that mountain in life– are ready for higher lessons that point to His Father’s Kingdom.