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The Sermon on the Mount PDF Print
AKSGNZ
17th October 2012 by Mani Fagundes dos Santos 
 
We have learnt on last lecture: “I have not come to destroy the law”  by Daniel that before the arrival of Jesus Christ, Society lived under the laws of the Old Testament, which included the Ten Commandments and also the civil laws which were put in place to control a very disorderly society. Jesus brought a new paradigm. He left the heavenly fields to direct us to the time of spiritual maturity and plenitude so we can be rich of inner harmony so we can be in perfect connection with Him so before the beginning of this wonderful speech, He remained in silence. His loving disciples, the evangelists narrate that He look for the calm of the desert and for 40 days and 40 nights he went in to a period of physical and spiritual fasting. He kept in great silence so he could hear the noise of mankind. Ralph Waldo Emerson, the remarkable American poet, lecturer and Transcendentalist writer of the 19th Century said: “Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying.” It was the same for Jesus, because what the people of the time were shouted so loud that Jesus could not perceive what they were saying. So he needed to be in great silence to be able to hear the chaotic disorder of those He was about to speak to. 

Soon after this inner journey in search of God, that He came lo Galilee after the selection of those 12 individual who followed Him, He chose a mountain by the Sea of Galilee, Kuruk Hattin, where He opened his mouth and no one else would say what He did, according to Matthew on chapters 5 6 and 7 of his Gospel.

The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus, which emphasizes his moral teaching , is the longest piece of teaching from Jesus in the New Testament, and has been one of the most widely quoted elements of the Gospels. It includes some of the best known teachings of Jesus such as the Beatitudes, and the widely recited Lord's Prayer. To most believers in Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount contains the central principles and belief of Christian discipleship. 

The teachings are expressed as eight blessings in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. Each beatitude consists of two phrases: the condition and the result. In almost all cases the phrases used are familiar from an Old Testament context, but in the sermon Jesus elevates them to new teachings.
Together, the Beatitudes present a new set of Christian ideals that focus on love and humility rather than force and exaction. They echo the highest ideals of the teachings of Jesus on mercy, spirituality, and compassion.

Jesus’ first proposition is a plea, an appeal to mankind of all times: 

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. (5:3). 
But who are the poor in Spirit?

This is a very bold and audacious proposal, in a rich world full of moral poverty, is an invitation to a profound meditation: What is our inner wealth?
By 'the poor in spirit' Jesus did not mean those who lack intelligence or material wealth, but the humble, in as much as He said that the Kingdom of Heaven would be for them and not for the prideful.
Generally those who hold such high opinions of themselves and feel superior to others consider everything divine as being undeserving of their consideration. By concentrating all their attention upon themselves, they are then unable to lift up their eyes to God. This tendency to believe they are superior to everything else very frequently leads them to deny anything which might be above them, even Divinity itself, with fear that they might feel inferior. They consider their judgment to be law.
By saying that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the poor in spirit, Jesus teaches that no one will be admitted without simplicity of heart and humility of spirit; that the ignorant person who possesses these qualities will be preferred to the wise person who believes more in himself than in God. In all circumstances Jesus put humility into the category of virtues that bring Man near to God and pride into the category of vices that keep Man away from God. The reason for this is clear, for to be humble is an act of submission to God, whereas pride is a revolt against Him. For Man then, there is far greater value for his future happiness by being poor in spirit, as the world would understand it, and rich in moral qualities.

WHOEVER EXALTS HIMSELF WILL BE HUMBLED
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, that if you do not converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Whosoever therefore everyone who humbles himself like this little child, will be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And everyone who receives a child, in my name, receives me (Matthew 18:1-5).

To be humble in such a materialistic world is not an easy task. In a world that is still dominated by our passions and the social status is defined by what we have and not what we are, most of us live keeping up with the appearances: The house we live in, the car we drive, the gadgets we have, the social clubs we belong to, the overseas holidays we take. But to be poor in Spirit is to learn how to use the material goods without exaggeration and attachment. Therefore Jesus’ first proposition is blessed are the poor in Spirit, because they will be rich of God’s blessings.

Soon after He raises his voice and says to the crows:

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. (5:8)

LET THE CLHIDREN COME TO ME
Then some children were presented to Him so that He would touch them, but as His disciples kept them away with reprimanding words those who were being presented, but when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said to them, Let the children to come to me, for the Kingdom of God is for those who are like them. Verily I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, and blessed them, put his hands upon them (Mark, 10:13-16).

Pureness of heart is inseparable from simplicity and humility. It excludes all ideas of selfishness and pride. This was why Jesus took infancy as the symbol of purity and humility.
It might appear unjust to make this comparison seeing that the Spirit of a child could be very old, and on being reborn to corporeal life might bring with it the imperfections which it had not been able to get rid off during previous incarnations. Only a Spirit who has reached perfection can offer an example of true purity. However, from the point of view of our present life it offers an exact comparison because a child, having had no opportunity as yet to manifest any perverse tendencies, presents us with an image of innocence and purity. So it becomes clear that Jesus did not say the Kingdom of Heaven was meant for children, but for those who are like them. 

What is another great example of purity? Light. Everything else can become polluted except light. 
If we are cleaning a stain, we can wash it, but the dirt will pollute the water that we are using.
Light reaches the muddy water in a swamp but also reaches the roses in the garden, however it doesn’t pick the beautiful sweet aroma of the flowers, but it doesn’t stink like a damp moldy swamp. To be pure in the heart is to be able to refrain from being influenced by the environment and others around us. No matter where we go.
There are those who when are surrounded by laziness, become lazy; when face irritation become uneasy, when they are around desperate people they lose hope and when they are invited to embrace a harmonious influence they don’t have mental space because they are too agitated.  On the appearance the smile is spread out on the face but the mind is dazed. This purity must reside inside of us, in our heart. Jesus gave us an example in a few occasions:

“While he was speaking, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him in his home and He went in, and sat down to eat and when the Pharisee saw it and began to ask himself, Why did he not washed his hands before dinner, and the Lord said to him “You Pharisees take great care in washing the outside of the cup and plate. However the inside of your heart is full of greed and iniquity. Ye fools, did not He who made the outside also make the inside? (Luke 11: 37-40). 

The intention and the feelings inside our heart are more important than external means of expression.  

To be pure in the heart is to be able to love unconditionally. Orchid/ Chinese tale

To be pure in the heart is to able to transform anger, conflicts, envy in peace and love

Beyond that Jesus explains that;

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God (Matthew, 5: 9).
Blessed are the gentle: for they will inherit the earth (Matthew, 5: 5).

What does it mean to be a peacemaker? Not to be mistaken with Peace keeping missions that we can see on the news. Peace makers are those who provide Peace, but in order to do that they need to be in Peace themselves. Those who are peaceful are in harmony and with their example harmonize their environment. This Peace must come from inside and cannot be not affected by the influences around us. There are many of us who say: I can’t wait to take my holidays and have some peace, but take all their problems with them because they don’t have peace. No one will find peace in a place if they haven’t already acquired it. 

Be patient, because this is also a charity; everyone should practice the law of charity as taught by Christ, Who is God's Envoy. Charity given to the poor in the form of a]ms is the easiest of all. However, there is another kind of charity which is much more laborious and so consequently offers higher merit. That is to forgive all those placed in your pathway by God to act as instruments for your suffering and to test your patience.
We know full well that life is difficult, being composed of so many apparently useless, insignificant and valueless things which act as repeated pinpricks and end up hurting us. However, if on the one hand we observe with care the duties imposed upon us, and on the other recognise the consolations and compensations received, then we must admit that the blessings are far more numerous than the pains. When our eyes are raised up to Heaven our burdens appear to be less heavy than when our brow is bowed down to the earth.
Courage, my friends! Christ is your model. He suffered far more than any of you and had nothing to offer penitence for, whereas we must atone for our past and thereby fortify ourselves for the future. So be patient; be Christians! This word summarizes everything. - A Friendly Spirit
(Havre, 1862).

But what did Jesus mean by the words "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth,"
 Jesus is only recommending that we do not give more importance to worldly goods than to the others. By these words He wishes to say that till now worldly goods have been monopolized by those who are violent, to the detriment of the meek and pacific, who frequently lack even the necessities of life while others have superfluity. Jesus promises justice will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven because the meek will be called God's children. When humanity submits itself to the law of love and charity, then selfishness will cease to exist; the weak and peaceful will no longer be exploited or crushed by the strong and violent. This will be the condition of the Earth when this planet becomes a happy world because it has rid itself of all evil, according to the law of progress and the promise made by Jesus.

Jesus also exalts another inner quality: Forgiveness. 

Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy (Matthew, 5: 7).
Moreover if your brother has sinned against you, go to him and make his wrong known in private, between you and him. Then Peter approached Him and said, Lord, how many times shall I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said unto him, I do not tell you up to seven times: but up to seventy times seven 
(Matthew, 18:15, 21 & 22).

FORGIVE OTHERS SO THAT GOD MAY FORGIVE YOU

Mercy is a complement to mildness, because the person who is not merciful cannot be mild and pacific. Mercy consists of being able to forget and forgive all offence. Hate and rancor denotes a Spirit without any elevation or generosity. Being able to forget offences is the mark of an elevated soul, which does not perturb itself with the blows it may be dealt. Those who cannot forgive are always anxious and full of bitterness; while the other is calm, full of sweetness and charity.

‘Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
(Matthew 7:3)

‘Be reconciled with your adversary quickly, while you are with him on the way with him: so that he doesn't hand you over to the judge and so that  the judge doesn't hand you over to the Minister of Justice, so that you may not be prisoned. Verily I say to you that you will not leave there as long as you have not paid the last farthing.
(Matthew, 5:25 & 26).

Analyzing this beatitude with a Spiritist perspective, understanding the law of cause and effect according to reincarnation, if we don’t forgive on this experience we will have to forgive, or ask for forgiveness at later time. Jesus warned us to make peace with our enemies while we walk with him because you on achieve freedom until you do so.

Most importantly, Jesus came to change the paradigm of his time by offering people Hope.

A new proposition explaining that suffering and affliction is just a temporary stage. In the last beatitudes he promises the unfortunate the following beatitudes:


BLESSED ARE THE AFFLICTED
Blessed are they who weep, for they shall be comforted, Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are they who suffer persecution because of righteousness sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew, 5: 5, 6 & 10).

THE JUSTICE OF AFFLICTIONS
The compensation promised by Jesus to the afflicted of this Earth can only be effected in a future life. Without the certainty of this future these maxims would be a contradiction; still more, they would be a decoy. Even with this certainty it is difficult to understand the convenience of suffering in order to be happy. It is said that it is to acquire greater merit. But then we ask: Why do some suffer more than others? Why are some born in misery and others in opulence without having done anything to justify this situation? Why is it that some never manage to achieve anything, while for others everything seems to smile? Yet what is even less understandable is why benefits and misfortunes are divided so unequally between vice and virtue. Why do we find virtuous people suffering side by side with the wicked who prosper? Faith in the future can console and introduce patience, but it does not explain these irregularities which appear to contradict God's justice.
But we accept God as the supreme intelligence, primary cause of all things and Sovereignly just and good so He cannot act partiality. The vicissitudes of life derive from a cause, and as God is just so then that cause must also be just. This is what each one of us must understand. Through the teachings of Jesus, God started Man on the path to find that cause, and now that Man is sufficiently mature as to be able to understand, He has revealed the cause by means of Spiritism. 

The vicissitudes of life are of two kinds, or if you prefer, stem from two different sources which are important to distinguish. Some have their cause in present-day life, while others arise outside this present life. But independent from where they come from , one thing is certain, they follow the law of cause and effect.  Suffering and afflictions are just a consequence to an action that we need to learn from.
This is the meaning of the words, 'Blessed are the afflicted for they shall be consoled'. They are happy because they are paying their debts and also because after payment they will be free.

And this is why the Sermon on the Mount is vital to anyone who wishes to become better person and for those who are interested in following the pathway left by Christ, It shows the Policies and gives the exact idea of how to reach the Kingdom of God because all of its items are based on love. 
And as a final act Jesus gifts making with the simplest yet most effective prayer ever pronounced”

The Lords Prayer
"Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil."

The last verse of chapter 5 is considered to be a focal point that summarizes the teaching of the sermon: "be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect", advising the disciples or students to seek the path towards perfection and the Kingdom of God. 

Mankind keeps on searching the outer space, Voyager 01 has been travelling space for the last 35 years and is has just becoming the first manmade object to leave the Solar System and is the furthest manmade object from Earth. Astronomers found another planet just the other day PH1, but the hardest task is still to find inner peace and calm in the heart.
 
Thank you 

 

 

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