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The Teacher Makes the Difference

When we face the storms of life, we must have a solid foundation we know we can trust.

Introduction

I have a text for you, a powerful text. It’s from the Sermon on the Mount. Let me share with you the setting of this great text. Every rabbi was expected to give a commentary on the law.

Jesus, as a rabbi, was expected to give a commentary on the law. The Talmud is a commentary on the law. A large part of the Dead Sea Scrolls are commentaries on the law. So they expected our Lord to do that, and he did it in a section of Scripture we call the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5, 6, and 7. Jesus starts the sermon with the word blessing. Psalm l, the great law song begins with a blessing: “Blessed is the man or woman that walks not on the way of wickedness, but walks in the way of the law of the Lord, the Torah of the Lord.” Jesus started his sermon just like Psalm 1 with a blessing, except he notes nine blessings, and the nine blessings we call the Beatitudes. And then he boldly states, “Think not that I’ve come to destroy the law. I have not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.” What a bold thing for Jesus to say: “I have come to fulfill the law.”

And then the Sermon on the Mount unfolds as our Lord takes hold of the law and makes promises. In fact, what’s great about the Sermon on the Mount is the teacher of the sermon. That’s why I’ve entitled the sermon today “The Teacher Makes the Difference.”

Then when Jesus comes to the end of the sermon, he ends with a parable. And I think that's intentional because Psalm 1 also ends with this parable, “The wicked are like chaff that blows away in the wind, but the righteous are like a tree planted by the rivers of the water that bear fruit.” Our Lord ends the Sermon on the Mount ...

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Earl Palmer is a writer and speaker for Earl Palmer Ministries, and author of Mastering the New Testament: 1, 2, 3 John and Revelation (W Publishing Group).

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