Leader Bible Study
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.
As you teach kids Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, 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.
The BIBLE Story
The Sermon on the Mount
Great crowds of people followed Jesus wherever He went. One day, Jesus went up on a mountain. He sat down and began to teach about the kingdom of God.
First, Jesus taught about the blessings that come to those who follow Him. He said:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.”
Then Jesus taught how believers should live. Jesus said that believers are the light of the world. “Let your light shine before others so that they may see the good things you do and choose to praise God.”
Then Jesus taught about God’s law. Jesus did not come to get rid of the law, but to obey it perfectly. He said that to enter heaven, a person can’t just look righteous on the outside—like the religious leaders. A person must be righteous on the inside too, obeying God for the right reasons.
Jesus said, “Love your enemies, and pray for them.” He said, “When you give to people who are poor, give in secret. And when you pray, don’t pray just so that people will hear you.” Jesus taught the people how to pray.
He also said, “Forgive others. If you forgive those who sin against you, God will forgive you too. But if you don’t forgive them, God will not forgive you.”
Jesus said, “Do not collect treasures on earth, which can be destroyed or stolen. Collect treasures in heaven instead. For where your treasure is, that is where your heart will be also.” He taught that God provides for His people.
Jesus taught the people many things. When He finished teaching, the crowds were amazed because He taught them like one who had authority.
Christ Connection: 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 in Jesus live to honor God and show what His kingdom is like.
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