At this point in our account, John the Baptist is put in prison and when Jesus hears this, He returns to Galilee. He goes to live in Capernaum, by the lake. As Jesus is walking beside the Sea of Galilee (also known as the lake) He sees two brothers Simon and Andrew and calls them to follow Him. Then walking a little further He sees two more fishermen brothers, James and John, and calls them to follow Him too. They all leave everything and follow Jesus. Verses 23 to 25 tell us about Jesus teaching and healing and preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God. The news spreads fast and people from all over the area came to Jesus to hear Him teach and to be healed.
This sets the scene for chapter 5 where we are told Jesus saw the crowds, so He went up a mountain and sat down. Jesus disciples went to Him and He began to teach them. Notice that He is not teaching the crowds, or unbelievers, He is teaching His disciples. This passage of Scripture known as the Sermon on the Mount is the Ten Commandments expanded and amplified and describes the true Christian and how his character should be. Character is important because our character is who we are, and that determines what we do.
The poor in spirit (v.3) are those who admit they have a need of God. Those that mourn (v.4) are those who mourn over their own sin. The meek (v.5) talks of our attitude to others. Those who hunger and thirst (v.6) are those who desperately want His righteousness. The merciful (v.7) are those who have a forgiving spirit. The pure in heart (v.8) are those who love holiness and purity. The peacemakers (v.9) are those who bring peace between God and man, and between man and man. The persecuted (v10) are those who have lived godly lives and been persecuted for it
Then Jesus goes on to talk about salt and light. Salt was used as a preservative, it preserves things from being corrupted. It also creates thirst and introduces flavour. Salt speaks of inward character that influences a decaying world. Our task is to keep our lives pure so that we might “salt” this earth and hold back the corruption so that the Gospel can get out. Then the last two verses speak of us as light; light speaks of the outward testimony of good works that point to God.
Lord help me today to live by Your Mission Statement, and so glorify You. Amen