Problem

Sermon on the mount or the plain?

Matthew 5:1 - And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
Luke 6:17 - And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;

Where was Jesus when he preached this sermon? Matthew records him in the mountain with his disciples, but Luke says he was in the plain?


Solution

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Reading the surrounding verses will reveal that these are two separate sermons. In Matthew 5:1-2 we read that when Jesus saw the multitudes "...he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them saying..."

Compared with Luke 6:17 which states that "he [Jesus] came down with them [the 12 disciples], and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judea and Jerusalem..."

Now, add in Matt. 8:1 "When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him." So, the order of events is as follows: 1.) Jesus sees the multitude and goes up into the mountain. 2.) His disciples come to Jesus alone in the mountain where Jesus preaches Matt. 5-7, the sermon on the Mount. 3.) Jesus comes down from the mountain the next day with his disciples (Luke 6:12-13) 4.) Jesus preaches Luke 6, the sermon on the Plain.

Clearly, Jesus preached two messages, but now a new question arises, namely, why not just preach the message to the disciples and the multitude at the same time?

First of all, you must notice that the two sermons in Matt and Luke are not the same. They are similiar...but not identical. For example, notice the first verse of each sermon:

Matt 5:3 - "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." vs. Luke 6:20 "...Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God."

Notice that one is refering to someone who is poor in spirit and inherits the kingdom of heaven while the other is a reference to the poor (see article on "poor and contrite") and they inherit the kingdom of God.

Keep reading and you will find that the sermon on the mount is the gospel of the kingdom of heaven (See Matt. 4:23) and the entire sermon consists of the constitution for the millenial reign of Jesus Christ. This explains why Jesus only revealed it to his 12 disciples, because they are going to be sitting on 12 thrones judging the tribes of Israel with Jesus Christ during that time (Matt 19:28).

I am going to stop here with these two sermons, but I will try to post an article outlining the differences between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God in the near future.

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