Amazed. Be amazed. Stand amazed.
“When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.”” – Matthew 7:28-29.
Yes, I’m amazed at all of this. No doubt. It seems beyond our reach. Beyond anything that we could even begin to understand…..yet….Jesus.
Jesus’ teaching in Matthew chapters 5—7 has become known as the Sermon on the Mount. The event likely took place just north of the Sea of Galilee near a town called Capernaum. Matthew began simply by saying that Jesus went up on a mountain—in the context of that region, an elevated spot above the crowd—sat down, and began to teach. His disciples were there, and so were “the crowds” (Matthew 5:1–2). That message focused on clarifying the purpose of God’s laws and commandments.
Common to that series of lessons is that God looks on attitude and motivation just as much as outward behavior. Hypocritical or performance-based shallowness is not real righteousness. God knows the difference and expects His people to do more than serve out of selfishness and pride.
Having finished his report of Jesus’ sermon, Matthew describes those crowds as “astonished.” The Greek term here is exeplēssonto, which literally means to be “struck.” Christ’s convicting and challenging words fit the meaning of a common English expression: “hit like a ton of bricks.” His audience had never heard teaching like this in their lives. They didn’t just nod along in affirmation. They were genuinely surprised by what Jesus said.
In addition, the crowds are also staggered by the way Jesus taught. Rather than speaking as someone passing along the wisdom of others, Jesus speaks as the Source and Authority of these ideas (Matthew 7:29).
He is the source of all authority. All of it.
This has been an incredible dive into the Sermon on the Mount. What an amazing few chapters….
Be sure to take a few minutes to just reflect on all of this. Ask Jesus for understanding, for realization of all of this in your life.
Thank you Father.