When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:Matthew 5 v 1-12
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
And seeing the multitudes — A vast concourse of people assembled from all parts to attend him, some with their sick to obtain cures, for he never rejected any who applied to him; some out of curiosity to see his miracles, and hear his extraordinary doctrine; some with a design to find fault and censure; and some, doubtless, to hear and be edified by his discourses, which seldom failed to make a deep impression on those who had any share of good sense or true piety: — the Son of God, beholding such a vast multitude of men, bewildered in the darkness of ignorance, and lost in sin and wretchedness, had compassion on them, and feeling in himself a strong desire to give them more particular instruction than he had yet done in the infinitely important matters of religion; that he might deliver what he had to say to them on this most momentous subject, with more convenience to himself and advantage to them, he went up into a mountain — Which afforded room for all, and where, addressing them from an eminence, he could be seen and heard by great numbers. And when he was set — After the manner of the Jewish doctors, who, to show their authority, were wont to sit when they taught; his disciples came unto him — To be instructed by him as a teacher come from God. By his disciples here, not only those strictly so called, viz., the twelve, who were afterward chosen to be his apostles, are intended, but as many of the multitude as were willing to learn of him. And he opened his mouth — A phrase which, in the Scriptures, generally denotes the solemnity of the speaker, and the importance of what he delivers, and here signifies that he uttered the following weighty truths with great seriousness and earnestness. And taught them — As the great prophet and lawgiver of his church, the one way to present and future happiness, at the same time that he corrected those false notions of the Messiah’s kingdom which so generally prevailed, and which he foresaw would prove of destructive tendency to those who continued to be governed by them. Observe, reader! Christ thought it as lawful to preach on a mountain as in a synagogue; nor did his disciples doubt the lawfulness of hearing him wherever he thought fit to speak. Our Lord, it must be observed, pursues the most exact method in this divine discourse; describing, 1st, viz., in this chapter, the nature, excellency, and necessity of inward holiness; 2d, chap. 6., that purity of intention which must direct and animate our outward actions to render them holy; 3d, cautioning us against the grand hinderances of religion, and pointing out the chief means of attaining it: Matthew 7:1-20; Matthew , , 4 th, making an application of the whole, Matthew 7:21-28. Benson