Jesus Teaches the Higher Law
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is arguably the most influential sermon to “the history and character of Christianity.”1 Evidence that this message was very important to Jesus is found as we find portions of Matthew’s account scattered across the Gospels of Mark and Luke, in the Sermon on the Plain, and at the Nephite Temple.2 The repetition of the message, and the care in recording it, is one of the ways we know how important the message was to Jesus. The texts often overlap, yet they are still individualized for each audience and setting. Each difference will be pointed out as we go through Matthew’s account verse by verse.
Matthew’s Gospel draws regular parallels from the OT. One of those emphasized in Matthew 5–7 is the fact that Jesus gives this sermon on a mountain. Moses received God’s Law on a mountain, but his people refused it, and received the Mosaic Law instead. Jesus was the premortal Jehovah, the Law Giver. Now He is back on a mountain in a sacred setting and gathers His most trusted disciples to teach the higher law again. The Sermon