Donate to The 'God Is Just A Prayer Away' radio broadcast

Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012



Matthew Chapter Five

Sermon of the Week #200845 – 11-16-08

The most famous sermon of all time begins with the strange phrase, “He opened His mouth.” How else could you speak if you did not open your mouth? There were times when Jesus taught without opening His mouth. The Ethiopian eunuch was reading the scripture that said, “As a lamb before His shearer is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.” When He went to the cross there was a great message taught by not opening His mouth. Even today He speaks without opening His mouth. He speaks through preachers of the Word. Jesus is like a divine ventriloquist; He speaks through a dummy.

Sometimes we also speak by example and not by word. I know a preacher who had to drive one hundred and twenty-five miles to a preaching appointment. The snow was two feet deep on the road. He and his family drove to services; they had a four-wheel drive car, and the snow they said looked like the waves on the water when a speedboat goes by. In the meantime, they called and told him not to come, but he had already left. When they got there, no one showed up for services. That day he preached the greatest sermon on attendance that he will ever preach without opening his mouth. Jesus opened His mouth and taught them.

Also it says that He sat down. Sometimes He stood and when He stood He was eloquent from head to toe. Here, He sat. There is something awesome about the Lord sitting. When He judges the world, He will sit on the throne of His judgment. A judge doesn’t have to stand up to pass sentence. Jesus sits here, and will pass judgment on what it means to keep the law. He will explain in Matthew 5:17 that He came to fulfill the law.

The start of the message is with the famous beatitudes, “BLESSED ARE THEY...”

Note them one by one. POOR IN SPIRIT: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.” These are the ones who are spiritually bankrupt. They have no preconceived ideas of what they must do. They say, “Speak Lord, thy servant heareth,” rather than, “Listen Lord, thy servant speaketh.” They don’t say, “I think this”, or “I think that”; they let Jesus do their thinking for them.

MOURN: “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.” This is contrary to our thinking. We would say, “Blessed are they who laugh.” You hear it everywhere; TV programs have laugh tracks. Someone opens a door and there is laughter in the background. Someone says, “Good morning” and there is laughter in the background. I miss this laugh track in real life. It is so frustrating to go through the checkout lane and not hear the checkout woman giggle as I pay the bill. I never hear background laughter as I order a hamburger. Laughing is the name of the game. We need a time of mourning. Paul said that Godly sorrow leads to repentance. We need a crying track; sobs ought to be heard as people look at most TV shows. Sobs need to be heard at porno movies. BLESSED ARE THEY WHO MOURN; weep and wail tracks.

MEEK: “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” Meek seems like a weak word but it isn’t. It is a strong word. The meek person is flexible to the Word of God. As God’s Word speaks, the will of the meek person bends to the Word. The meek person is also inflexible to false doctrine. If the meek hear it, they have spines that are like steel rods set in concrete; they will not bend to it. The meek shall inherit the earth. A bumper sticker read, “The Meek Don’t Want It”. Jesus said they would get it.

HUNGER AND THIRST: “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.” These are the ones who have a strong desire to hear the Word of God, identified by the Lord as the bread of life. The reason for hit and miss church attendance is because the people are not hungry. They are not thirsty. If a person misses mealtime for several days you know that he is sick. People who are not hungry for the bread of life are sick.

MERCIFUL: “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” This is amazing when we note that the book of Psalms records twenty-seven times the statement, “His mercy endureth forever.” Then in Hebrews 4:16, the Christian is exhorted to draw near with boldness to the throne of grace to receive grace and mercy in time of need. However, it should give us pause to note that it is written in James 2:13, “For judgment is without mercy to him who showed no mercy.”

PURE IN HEART: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” A woman in North Carolina wrote and said, “Pray that I may have a purer heart.” A pure heart can be deceiving. It is easy to preach a sermon, or sing a solo for our own glory and not the glory of the Lord.

PEACEMAKERS: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.” The peacemaker is another seemingly weak word, but nothing could be further from the truth. Winston Churchill said that in 1934, any world leader could have stopped Adolph Hitler. No one did so; five years later it took the whole world to stop Hitler. If he had been stopped in 1935, that man would have been the greatest peacemaker of modern times, but he probably would have been regarded a warmonger. The peacemaker now may be the serviceman with his rifle on foreign soil, or the cop on the beat with a gun. The peacemaker may be the man who sleeps with a revolver by his bedside.

PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS SAKE; SAY ALL MANNER OF EVIL AGAINST YOU: I overheard a preacher talking one time and I heard him say that he was fed up. He said, “I can’t take it.” I walked away. I did not want to hear the rest of it. What did he expect? The Lord never said it would be easy. He said when it happens, “BLESSED ARE YE.”

Then Jesus refers to His disciples as the salt of the earth. Salt has a preserving influence. You can’t tell the influence of the Church by the number of people you rack up on the Lord’s Day. Nor can you tell it by the size of the offering. The only way you can tell the influence of the Church is if you could tell how many lies have been told compared to the lies if the Church had not been there; how many murders than if the Church had not been there. This is influence that we cannot measure. Only God can tell how valuable each of us is to the ongoing of the Kingdom of God on earth. Not only that but such people are the light of the world. It is fine to turn on the lights of the Church-house and sing the songs and listen to the Word, but Jesus never said we are the light of the Church. He said we are the light of the world. What happens after the lights are turned out in the building and we move out into a dark world? Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.

Jesus then began to tell us what He had expected when the law was given, “Except our righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.” The Pharisees would always tithe and be in services without fail. We cannot measure up to them unless we are in every service, and never miss, and always tithe, and even then Jesus said, “You are just keeping even.” We must exceed the righteousness of these scribes and Pharisees. We might very well say, “If I have to attend all the services, tithe, pray for hours every week, go to all the revivals, just to keep up with those Pharisees, and then exceed what they did, I’d have to be a SUPER SAINT.” That is it! Now you understand. Attending all services and doing all the other things, Lord’s Supper included, and never missing is important, but our religion must go beyond that; way beyond that.

A list of sins is given to let us know what God expects of us. Jesus is the only one who ever measured up to the divine standard. He lived the one life God wanted all of us to live. Five areas are mentioned where we must exceed the Pharisees. Time does not permit much more than a brief mention.


First there was the area of murder, “THOU SHALT NOT KILL”. Jesus defined murder as anger. He said, “If a person is angry with his brother he is in danger of the judgment.” If you say, “You old fool, you”, you are in danger of the hell of fire. And if you say, “Raca” (worthless one), you shall be in danger of the council. According to this, you don’t have to use a gun, club or knife to be guilty of murder. The object of your anger can go on living and yet you are guilty of killing him. One preacher I know was listening to a lady spew off about a certain man and he said, “Why don’t you go shoot him?” She said, “Why should I do that?” The preacher said, “As far as you are concerned, you have already killed him.” In connection with this, Jesus told of the man who was on his way to court and had a bad case. He said, “Agree with thine adversary quickly on the way lest you be cast into prison and never get out till you pay all.” We are the ones who are on the way to the Judgment Day. We have a bad case and had better settle out of court. Otherwise we don’t have a chance on that great Day!


Next on the list was the adulterer. Jesus said that they had heard the law on that, “Ye shall not commit adultery.” Jesus said, “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” A person might be a fine example of morality as far as the overt act is concerned and yet be as immoral as the worst pimp or prostitute before God.

These words of Jesus were spoken before the invention of the printing press and photography. What would He say now in regard to pornographic movies and magazines? If it is easy to be lustful without these things, what chance does a person have with them? Everyone will have to face the Lord as He sits in the Judgment on that Day. THINK IT OVER.


Then there was the area of blasphemy. Jesus said, “Swear not at all. Let your yea be yea and your nay be nay. Whatever else comes out of your mouth is of the evil one.” Actually, the taking of the name of the Lord in vein is one of the most terrible of sins. Remember what Jesus said about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. He said that there was no forgiveness for the person who blasphemed the Holy Spirit. Without getting into the nature of that sin, the question comes, “How come that you can blaspheme the name of the Lord and be forgiven, and then blaspheme the Holy Spirit and not be forgiven?” One is of the God Head, and the other, a member of the God Head. What is the difference? Whatever the difference is, it no doubt can be drawn with a very thin hairline. Leave the name of God alone. It is like a sign on the power plants that we see: DANGER, HIGH VOLTAGE! LEAVE GOD ALONE!


Then there is the avenger. Someone always wants to get even. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth. That is the way it was in the Old Testament, but Jesus said, “Not so, anymore.” One person in commenting on this practice said that this law was not enforced in the Old Testament literally, but rather that a person was called on to pay the damages much like in our court system today. These are days when somebody always wants to sue someone for everything. I saw a man once, crossing the street. He did not walk fast enough for a driver of a car. The driver honked. The pedestrian stopped and stood in front of the car and said, “Alright, go ahead and run over me and I’ll sue you.” Perhaps it is difficult in the sue-age to be a SUPER SAINT!


The last area that the Master touched on was Love. He said that it was not a matter of loving those who were our friends, but to love also our enemies, and pray for them who persecute you. How long has it been since you got down on your knees and prayed for those that you don’t like? Or for those who don’t like you? One preacher, in the process of getting fired, was advised to pray for his adversaries; the counselor told him the prayers might not help his enemies, but they would keep him from becoming bitter.

A great example of praying for those who persecute you is the example of Jesus later on at the cross. His enemies had spit on Him, cursed Him, beat Him with whips, put a crown of thorns on His head, and driven nails through His hands and feet, and yet He prayed for their salvation. His teaching was “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you that ye may be sons of your Father who is in Heaven.” And that is what it takes to be a SUPER SAINT!


As you read this list of sins and sinners that the Lord talked about, it looks like a hopeless case for us; who then can be saved? Jesus did not come down here to preach this sermon, and then tell us to go into all the world and preach the Law of Moses.

Moses and the law could lead us though life only as far as the Jordan, and then it was Joshua that led them into the Promised Land. Jesus declared in Matthew 5:17, “I came not to destroy the Law but to fulfill it.” Paul in 2nd Corinthians 5:21, “Him who knew no sin was made to be sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Hebrews 4:15, “He was tempted in all points like as we are and yet without sin.” Then after this demonstration of a perfect life, He went to another mountain where He would be crucified. Then after His resurrection from the dead, He went to another mountain where He would ascend to the Father, giving the apostles the Great commission. According to Mark He said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, he that believeth not shall be damned.” According to Matthew, “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world”