The Sermon on the Mount is one of my favorite scripture to study. Here’s why it’s important to study the same passage from more than one source.
What is the Sermon on the Mount Bible Study about?
The Sermon on the Mount Bible study by Kristin Schmucker from the Daily Grace Co is an exegetical study of Jesus’s own words from Matthew 5-7. The study walks verse by verse through each chapter, explaining the context of His words and encouraging a deeper understanding.
How is the book organized?
The study book itself is beautiful, as is everything the Daily Grace Co puts out! The photography and typeset is gorgeous. It is a 6 week study: 5 days of verse-by-verse study and 1 day of review and summation for each week. Each day there is beautiful imagery, a 1-2 page commentary on the passage, and 3 question. The summary day asks you to reread the passage and asks 5-6 additional reflection questions.
There is also a great “Study Suggestions” section at the front of the book which explains the goals of the study and offers helpful tips to gain the most understanding of your time in scripture. This is super helpful for anyone that is new to studying scripture or as a reminder to veteran Saints as well.
What did Jesus say in the Sermon on the Mount?
The Sermon on the Mount is quite possibly Jesus’s most famous sermon he gave. You can find it in Matthew 5-7. Covering 3 whole chapters, it contains many familiar passages including:
- “For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
- “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” (Matthew 6:33)
- “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
The Sermon starts with the “Beatitudes” or blessing from Jesus:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." - Matthew 5:3-12
Towards the end, Jesus gives us the Lord’s 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.” – Matthew 6:9-13
Why I chose this study
I chose this Bible study because I recently completed a different study on the same passage. The first was Jen Wilkin‘s and I really enjoyed that. In her study, she is able to articulate what the life of a Christian, a citizen of heaven, should look like. She explains how repentance, salvation, and sanctification would look to the original hearers of the Sermon on the Mount.
Jen teaches the importance of Biblical literacy and how to dig into the Word itself for a deeper understanding, so my first time studying the Sermon on the Mount gave me a great jumping off point to start from with this next study.
Why study the same topic from different sources?
When studying the Bible, it’s important to study the same scripture from different authors or perspectives.
Let me pause and say that while Bible study books and commentaries are so helpful, especially if you are new to studying, there is no substitute for spending time in the actual Bible. Just spend time doing it. Like anything in life, the more time and attention you devote to it, the easier it will become. Pray for wisdom and clarity in understanding God’s Word. Remember Matthew 7:7-8 from above!
So back to different authors… When we engage the same passage from multiple view points, a couple things happen:
- We protect ourselves from seeking after the voice of a certain preacher/speaker/author, and instead focus on hearing the voice of God through the Bible itself.
- We broaden our understanding as it is rare that more than one author will same the exact same thing, nothing more, nothing less. Yes, there is bound to be overlap, but by consuming multiple points of view, you broaden your own.
- We pick up consistencies which help us to confirm the context of the scripture.
- We pick up INconsistencies which point out areas that require our own research and prayer to understand the true meaning and context of what God is speaking in the passage.
Why is that important?
If I may take a little liberty in my comparison, it’s like wanting to make the best chocolate chip cookies but not having a specific recipe in mind. A quick internet search will provide multiple sources, all claiming to be the best.
After closer examination, you’re sure to find a some consistent ingredients or procedures. Clearly all of them will call for chocolate of some sort and say to bake them in a hot oven. But you will also notice differences among them. Some might say to melt the butter, others might call for no butter at all, and still others might throw something crazy like peanut butter in them.
After you’ve checked out a few recipes, now it’s up to you to do your own research and experimentation to find what most is truly the “Best Chocolate Chip Cookie”. And that research and experimentation is the most important part! It’s what determines which recipe is the true “Best” and which may have great intentions, but simply are not the “Best”.
Studying the Bible is much the same. Some authors will say the same things, some will have differing opinions, but what matters the most is the research and experimentation step. It’s about prayer and asking for wisdom, leaning in on the discernment from the Holy Spirit that will help us to grow in our understanding of truth and scripture.
Some of my favorite quotes from the Sermon on the Mount Bible study are:
“We could be tempted to wonder what the point is in praying if He already knows. We do not pray to make sure that He knows what is going on in our lives – He already knows. We do no pray to try to convince Him of our perspective or manipulate Him to act in our favor. Prayer aligns our heats to God and to His kingdom purposes.”The Sermon on the Mount: A Study on God’s Upside-Down Kingdom, Kristin Schmucker, page 88
“If we could see and know who God is, we would not worry about a single thing because we would be utterly convinced of His sovereignty over everything.” (Page 107)The Sermon on the Mount: A Study on God’s Upside-Down Kingdom, Kristin Schmucker, page 107
My rating of The Sermon on the Mount Bible Study:
This is my 2nd study from the Daily Grace Co and looking back, I can’t believe I’ve only completed two studies! My TBR shelves are literally packed with books from them. I’ve read several of their other books including their “Bible Handbook” which gives overviews of all the books of the Bible as well as additional graphics, timelines, and explanations.
Overall, I really enjoyed the Sermon on the Mount study by Kristin Schmucker of the Daily Grace Co. Matthew is my favorite Gospel to read and this was a great way to spend diving deeper into the Word. A solid 4 stars from me!
For this review and many more, plus what I’m reading now, visit me on GoodReads. Thanks so much for checking out the Collective!
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