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Sermon on the Mount 

A collection of the teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew (Chapters 5-7). It is the first of five special speeches in Matthew and takes place at the beginning of Jesus' ministry. Many of the sayings in the Sermon on the Mount are also found in the Gospel of Luke. Scholars agree that this material probably comes from the Q source, even though the sayings are not in the same order or sequence. As a result, historical critics suggest that Matthew and Luke have two different ways of presenting Jesus' teaching to their intended audience. Although the Sermon is addressed to the disciples, at the conclusion of the speech Matthew remarks that the crowd was amazed at Jesus' teaching. Beginning with the beatitudes and followed by two metaphors, the main thesis is stated in 5:17-20. Jesus affirms the importance of the law but emphasizes the higher demands of a disciple: "Unless you show yourselves far better than the scribes and Pharisees, you can never enter the Kingdom of Heaven" (Mt 5:20). In this way Jesus describes the requirements of his followers at the beginning of his ministry. See Sermon on the Plain. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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