Uplifting commentary on the Gospels, Acts, early Apostolic history, and a life of discipleship.
Compassion stirring in His heart, Yeshua strengthened the sickly, healed the diseased, bound up the broken, and sought after the lost sheep of Israel. He proved Himself a shepherd worthy of fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy about Messiah shepherding Israel: “My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd” (Ezekiel 37:24).
Six days after what? Is there some significance to the six days before the transfiguration? Some scholars believe that the six days refer to a six-day period of ritual preparation, fasting, and ritual purification. “After six days” also alludes to Moses’ ascent up Mount Sinai.
They were amazed at His teaching because He taught “As one having authority, and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:29). He did not sound like the typical rabbi. He did not equivocate between opinions or wrangle over halachic minutiae. He did not transmit His teachings in the names of teachers before Him.
Have we disregarded the words of the Master, particularly these hard words of the Sermon on the Mount? Have we placed our concerns with doctrinal suppositions and having the right set of beliefs rather than in the radical obedience and discipleship to which the Master calls us?
We will protest that we ministered, prophesied, and performed miracles in His name: “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” (Matthew 7:22). He will say to us, “I never knew you,” and then He will quote Psalm 6:9, “Depart from me, all you who do iniquity.”
According to the Torah, a failed prediction disqualifies a would-be prophet: “If the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken” (Deuteronomy 18:22). He is a false prophet and liable to the death penalty: “That prophet shall die” (Deuteronomy 18:20).
The Sermon on the Mount provides Yeshua's instructions for staying on the straight and narrow path to the kingdom. The Sermon on the Mount describes the righteousness that "surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees" without which "you will not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:20).
What does it mean to love one’s neighbor as one’s self? Whatever a person does not want others to do to him, he should not do to others. As you love to be treated yourself, so you should treat others. That principle describes basic empathy, the foundation of human morality.
The “one who asks” refers to the one who asks the Father in prayer, as James the brother of the Master explained, “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). The rabbis teach, “An answer to prayer is connected to the calling, and calling is connected to the answer.”
Rabbi Hillel used to say, “If you see a generation that does not cherish the Torah, hold in your words.” It does no good to preach Bible at atheists; it only provokes them. On a practical level, we should not force the message of the kingdom on people who do not want to hear it.