Kingdom of God: Sermon on the Plain (General Themes)



John Drane tells us that "the sermon is a comprehensive collection of ethical teaching: it gices a good idea of the place of ethics in the new society Jesus has come to inagurate."

Drane states that Jesus; teaching in the sermon is to be understoof as an ethic freedom.

Jesus' sermon does not give rules and regulations- it set out principles.

Those who accept God's rule in their life enjoy the freeedom to know him in the context of a living relationship as their father.

Donald Senior tells us "There can be little doubt that Love of God and neighbour is the centre of Jesus' instructions and teachings to his disciples.

Jesus' authority came from his own insight, his own experience of God as loving and near. This teaching is scattered and based on what the evangelists have gathered from isolated sayings into loose collections. But this insight into the discriminate love of god provides the ultimate key to practically every word the gospel records.

"He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples were there  and a great number of people over Judea, who had come to hear him and be healed of their diseases."

All three synoptic gospels provide a scene in which Jesus is asked which is the greatest commandment and he replies that loving God and neighbour is the basis for the interpretation of all the law. Both are important.

The sermon is divided into sections: beautitudes and woes; love for enemies; teaching on judgement; a tree and its fruit; the tow house builders.

The insistence on the aboslute indiscriminate nature of love within the kingdom is the dominant perspective, "blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."

Role reversal:

Another important theme is role reversal.

"I say love your enemies,


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