Sermon on the Mount
Simple and straightforward, yet endlessly captivating, the Sermon on the Mount is a startling invitation to inhabit an alternative world-where the new creation has come in Jesus himself.
Rather than laying down laws and calling us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, the Sermon offers "verbal icons through which we may see into God's will and be empowered for the moral life," writes Charles Talbert. Its call for radical obedience is not "for conformity to legitimate external rules, but for the total transformation of a person," Bonnie Thurston agrees. "To be obedient to Jesus is to become as he is, humble and gentle."
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove calls the Sermon's opening poem, the Beatitudes, the key to living faithfully in a broken world. Shane Claiborne asks how we should make discerning judgments without being judgmental. "Folks are hungry for a Christianity that mirrors Jesus," he notes, "not the judgmentalism that has done more to repel than to woo people towards God's grace."
The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to help us central threads in the Sermon on the Mount's rich tapestry of Jesus' teaching. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.
- "Grace in the Sermon on the Mount," by Charles H. Talbert
- "The Freedom of Obedience," by Bonnie Bowman Thurston
- "With Ears to Hear," by Richard Ward
- "The Beatitudes in the Desert," by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
- "Jesus Is for Losers," by Shane Claiborne
- "The Universality of Christ and His Teachings," by Heidi J. Hornik, on Laura James's Sermon on the Mount
- "Teaching Through Images," by Heidi J. Hornik, on Cosimo Rosselli's The Sermon on the Mount and Healing of the Leper
Hymn and Worship Service
- "The World Is Thus," by Gregory A. Clark
- Dale Allison, The Sermon on the Mount: Inspiring the Moral Imagination
- Glen Stassen, Living the Sermon on the Mount: A Practical Hope for Grace and Deliverance
- Charles H. Talbert, Reading the Sermon on the Mount: Character Formation and Ethical Decision Making in Matthew 5-7
- "Living the Beatitudes Today," by Arthur Paul Boers
- Jim Forest, The Ladder of the Beatitudes
- James C. Howell, The Beatitudes for Today
- Erik Kolbell, What Jesus Meant: The Beatitudes and a Meaningful Life
Study Guides and Lesson Plans(Download the set of six Study Guides)
- "God's Enabling Grace"
- "The Freedom of Obedience"
- "Interpreting the Sermon on the Mount"
- "With Ears to Hear"
- "Beatitudes in the Desert"
- "Jesus Is for Losers"
- "Customizing Your Study of the Sermon," by Robert B. Kruschwitz
- "Making Peace with Our Enemies," by George A. Mason (Peace and War)
- "Just Peacemaking in an Age of Terrorism," by Glen H. Stassen (Peace and War)
- "Matthew's Nonviolent Jesus and Violent Parables," by Barbara E. Reid, O. P. (Parables)
- "The War of the Lamb," by Harry O. Maier (Peace and War)
- "War in the Old Testament," by John A. Wood (Peace and War)
- "Mastering Mammon," by Craig L. Blomberg (Consumerism)
- "Hazmats or Good Gifts?" by Dorothy Jean Weaver (Parables)
- "The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth," by Arthur Simon (Consumerism)
- (Book Review) "Lord, Teach Us to Pray," by John Essick (Prayer)
- N.T. Wright, The Lord & His Prayer
- William H. Willimon and Stanley Hauerwas, Lord Teach Us: The Lord's Prayer and the Christian Life
- Kenneth W. Stevenson, The Lord's Prayer: A Text in Tradition