Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount
5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right-hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Have you ever thought, “If only I could see God, then I would really believe!” if so, you are not alone. Many, if not all of us, think if we could just see or experience God in a powerful way, it would remove doubt and solidify faith. The truth is, throughout scripture we see many different responses to the presence and work of God. Some fall down in worship, while others fear and gnash their teeth at him. Some see God and marvel, others see him and don’t take a second glance. Why is there such diversity in the way people respond to God and what can be done to help people see him and fall down in worship? As we make our way through the beatitudes and the life God calls us to, Jesus says the purity of our heart affects our ability to see God, and this is reflected in how serious we are, what responsibility we own, and the integrity of our actions in relationship with those closest to us.