Lessons In Truth - Lesson 7 - Annotation 2
What constitutes the greatness of the Sermon on the Mount?
2. The greatness of the Sermon on the Mount lies in the simplicity of the language, which enables the reader to understand and to use the principles it embodies.
Jesus Christ knew His mission perfectly; He knew how to turn in prayer to the Father within to gain the wisdom necessary to help Him to fulfill this mission "to save the race from bondage, from sin, sickness, and death" (Mysteries of John 120). "The multitudes were astonished at his teaching: for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes" (Matt. 7:28, 29).
In the book Talks on Truth, on pages 67 and 68, Charles Fillmore mentions the originality of Jesus' mission and His words, as follows:
"Jesus Christ was imbued with a spirit purely His own. He did not borrow His mission, or His words, or His precepts .... He was a genius that burned with His own wick and oil . . . . His presentation is peculiar in that it carries with it, and illustrates by its works, a basis more enduring than mere metaphysical presumption" (Talks on Truth 67,68).
In his book "The Sermon on the Mount" Emmet Fox says:
"It [the Sermon] covers the essentials. It is practical and personal. It is definite, specific, and yet widely illuminating. Once the true meaning of the instructions have been grasped, it is only necessary to begin putting them faithfully into practice to get immediate results" (page 16).
"We are told more about the nature of man and the meaning of life, and the importance of conduct, and the art of living, and the secret of happiness and success, and the way out of trouble, and the approach to God, and the emancipation of the soul, and the salvation of the world, than all the philosophers and the theologians and the savants put together have told us -- for it explains the Great Law" (page 117).
"Where the simplicity of His teaching is received and appreciated the people change their manner of living, doing away with ostentation and getting down to the simplicity and beauty of the things that are worthwhile" (Prosperity 106).
The Sermon on the Mount presents a clear, direct, and to-the-point teaching that has burned into the hearts and minds of men through the ages, stimulating them to think deeply. Its pattern has become to many "a way of life" that transcends any ordinary pattern of living. Charles Fillmore emphasizes the practicality of the Sermon on the Mount as follows:
"In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus laid down the law for those who desire to follow Him into the regeneration -- to be born again. If you seek this spiritual birth, examine your dally life and see whether you are conforming to its requirements" (Talks on Truth 86).
The greatness of any teaching lies in its ability to change lives, and this is exactly what the Sermon on the Mount has been able to do through the many centuries since it was spoken on the mountainside by Jesus. Today, two thousand years after the words were uttered, the doctrine of Jesus Christ given in this Sermon is just as vital, as dynamic, and as practical as it was when He walked the earth among men. Its application by us can transform our lives just as it did the lives of many who followed and listened to Him. There is nothing mysterious about the Sermon on the Mount, for it is the simple, practical presentation of the laws of life that anyone may apply.