In response to the crowds who follow him, Jesus goes up on a mountain, sits down, and teaches his disciples. His sermon begins with the promise of God’s Blessing is the asking for or the giving of God's favor. Isaac was tricked into blessing Jacob instead of his firstborn Esau. At the Last Supper Jesus offered a blessing over bread and wine. To be blessed is to be favored by God. More and calls for a new kind of kingdom righteousness in which hearing and doing are grounded in faithful obedience and prayer.
The Sermon on the Mount is fittingly one of the most familiar portions of Matthew’s Gospel. After a quick summary of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee (4:13-25), Matthew intentionally places it here as the first of five unique and carefully structured discourses of Jesus that shape the Gospel’s narrative and themes. Like each of these discourses the Sermon is framed by an introduction and a formula conclusion (5:1; 7:28-29). Its reference to “finished” fittingly bears the double sense of “ending” and “completeness” or “fulfillment” and is perhaps intended to recall Moses’ words to Israel (see Deuteronomy 31:1). The Sermon includes the key sections that follow below.