We are going to examine the character qualities that Jesus talked about in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-12). The background of this is that Jesus had already chosen for himself disciples, where a disciple is characterized as a follower or learner of Christ. The ministry of Jesus consisted of 3 main areas: (1) teaching, (2) preaching, and (3) healing.

Matthew 4:23 “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.

Jesus spent three years with His disciples training them in these areas. I believe their is specific order to these area of ministry. Teaching is more than just gathering information, but is a place of revelation and putting this truth into action, it requires obedience. How can we preach to someone about loving God, if we ourselves have never experienced the love of God or on the other spectrum have experienced the love of God, but are not obeying what Jesus is telling us to do. Let’s take a look at how Jesus called His disciples

Mark 3:13-15 “And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sickness and to cast out demons.

Jesus called His disciples when He was on a mountain. A mountain represents a place of revelation, think of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments and it was the place where Jesus was transfigured. The Sermon on the Mount took place on a mountain (Matthew 5:1). The mountain also represents a higher place, a place refuge and strength, where Jesus calls people to himself. Jesus is calling His disciples to a higher calling or as the Apostle Paul put it, an upward calling. It is a calling that has nothing to do with the things of the world, but have to do with the glorification of God supremely. Jesus is calling His disciples to forsake all and follow Him. In the reference in Mark, notice again the modes of ministry, we see the words preach and heal, but teach is replaced with “that they might be with Him.” Jesus is the living word of God! He is our example for everything. In order to be taught in the things of God, it must come through Jesus, learning of His character, that is why believers are given the Holy Spirit, in order for Him to reveal Christ in our hearts. Remember the Pharisees were vigorously searching the scriptures to find eternal life, but they failed in discovering it, since eternal life is only found in Jesus. That is the beauty of the New Covenant, because each believer can experience the divine nature himself, we don’t have to go through a medium.

Hebrews 8:11 “none of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.”

Abiding with Jesus is the how we partake more of His divine nature in our hearts. In John 6:63, Jesus said “My words are spirit and life”, meaning His words will hit our spirit, the deepest part of us, and bring forth life. The teaching that Jesus ministered to His disciples is one of transformation of the heart.

The teachings of Jesus bring forth transformation in the heart through revelation and obedience.

One thing I would like to add, Jesus didn’t start preaching and healing until He was sent out by the Father, when He was about thirty years old. So what was Jesus doing all these years? Jesus was learning from the Father. Turn with me to Luke’s gospel, chapter 2, where the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem, and guess where Jesus was? He wasn’t preaching or healing the sick, but Jesus was with the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. The will of His Father during this time period of His life was to learn. Listen to the words of Jesus:

Luke 2:49 “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

The Sermon on the Mount give us principles for living in the kingdom of heaven. We need this principles to guide our life. We need them to grip our hearts and transform us. Let’s look at the first character quality that Jesus talked out.