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Billy HallowellOct 4, 2019 12:00:00 AM6 min read

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount: 8 Life-Changing Lessons

One of the most popular parts of the gospel is Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, a portion of scripture that is found in Matthew 5-7. It’s a section of scripture in which Jesus covers many topics. We’ll offer a Sermon on the Mount summary to cover just some of the topics Christ went over in this robust part of the Bible. 

Search for a Sermon on the Mount commentary if you want a more expansive explanation, but this article will guide you through some powerful lessons worth considering as you fully live out the gospel in your life.

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Sermon on the Mount Summary: The Overview

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is named as such due to the explanation of where Jesus delivered it. Matthew 5:2 (NIV) tells us, “Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.” 

GotQuestions offers a Sermon on the Mount summary that goes as follows: “How to live a life that is dedicated to and pleasing to God, free from hypocrisy, full of love and grace, full of wisdom and discernment.”

So, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount gives us plenty of food for thought when it comes to how we live our lives, interact with others and live our faith out in front of a watching world.

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The Sermon on the Mount: Don’t Hide Your Light

In Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV), Jesus discusses the importance of Christians letting their light shine before others. Jesus’ words remind us that our good deeds should be done in an effort to glorify God, and that, through our conduct, people will see Him. This section of scripture reads:

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

READ ALSO: 6 Life-Changing Lessons From Hebrews 11

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount Honors Marriage

The Sermon on the Mount deals with many issues, including adultery and lust. Jesus’ words are stirring in that he not only condemns adultery, but proclaims that “anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28, NIV). 

But the lesson doesn’t end there, as Christ goes on to express just how serious such sin can be. While he’s not encouraging the literal actions discussed within, he is using them to show the gravity of the situation and what’s at stake (verses 29-30):

“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”

An Eye for an Eye?: Sermon on the Mount Commentary

While “an eye for an eye” was once the way of life, Jesus tells his followers to take a different approach — not to resist evil people. And he even goes as far as to say that if someone should slap a person on the right cheek, he or she should offer up their other cheek as well. This is a powerful idea about being kind to enemies — one that is advanced in the Sermon on the Mount (verses 38-42, NIV).

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.


Sermon on the Mount Commentary: Give Humbly

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount also reminds us to be careful when it comes to our giving. Rather than announcing with great fanfare what we’ve done for those in need, Christians are called to instead “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret” (Matthew 6:3-4, NIV).

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How to Pray: A Sermon on the Mount Commentary

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount offers us a powerful outline for how we can pray. In Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV), he proclaims the following:

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”

The Sermon on the Mount’s prayer guidance is worth considering, as it comes straight from Christ and is a general outline any of us can follow to ensure a successful invocation.

Sermon on the Mount Summary: Value the Eternal

As we continue our Sermon on the Mount summary, let’s consider a powerful message Jesus delivered in Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV) about where we place our treasures. Christ makes it clear that eternal value matters much more than material items. 

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal,” Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount reads. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

READ ALSO: 4 Life-Altering Lessons From Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood

What You See Matters: The Sermon on the Mount 

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount reminds us that what we watch and see truly matters. In the modern era, this is a truly important lesson. Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV) reads: 

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” 

This is a reminder to ensure that we are filling our hearts and minds with biblical truth, love and positivity. Our eyes are the lens to our souls, which makes this Sermon on the Mount commentary one of the most important in this article.

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount Tells Us: Watch Your Judgement

The Sermon on the Mount also reminds us to watch how we handle our judgement of others. Sometimes, it’s easier to focus on others’ issues than it is to see our own blunders. But Jesus asks us why we look at the “speck of sawdust” in our brothers’ eyes while paying no attention to the “plank” in our own eyes. But, in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount speech, he had plenty more to say to us about this issue.

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye,” Christ added in Matthew 7:5 (NIV).

This concludes our Sermon on the Mount commentary — a powerful exploration of Christ’s words to live by. These lessons are essential for us to consider. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount holds the power to get us thinking deeper about how we can live out the gospel.


Billy Hallowell

Billy Hallowell has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite and on, among other outlets. Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.