Mt. 5:17-48; Lk. 6:27-36
Jesus pointed out contrasts between His teaching and that of the Old Testament and the traditions of the Jews. He stated that He did not come to destroy the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill or make their teaching about Him come true.
Some of the contrasts Jesus pointed out dealt with anger, adultery, swearing and oaths, retaliation and love. He introduced each topic with, “You have heard…but I say.” These were new concepts and He expected the apostles to grasp and teach them to others.
Because of the great influence that the followers of Jesus have in the world, He referred to them as salt and light. He said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they many see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Mt. 5:2-12; Lk. 6:20-26
The first lesson that Jesus taught was a series of statements that are referred to as The Beatitudes. Each Beatitude stated a moral attribute and the blessing promised to those who live according to that principle.
A series of woes was also pronounced on those who were self-satisfied and trusted in their riches. It is a danger signal when evil persons are pleased with us.
Mt. 5:1; Lk. 6:17-19
After appointing the apostles, they all came down to a level place. There a large group of people from great distances was assembled waiting for Jesus to return and heal them. When He had healed the people, He began to deliver one of His greatest sermons.
Jesus sat down and His disciples came to Him and He began to teach them some important lessons. It is likely that the newly appointed apostles were His main audience, but the multitudes who were assembled also heard His message.
Mt. 10:1-4; Mk. 3:13-19; Lk. 6:12-16
Many times when Jesus wanted to be alone, He would go out to a mountain. This night, He was near His home base of Capernaum. Since it was just before a momentous occasion, He prayed to God all night. We should pray for guidance when making great decisions in our lives.
It had been more than a year since Jesus had begun His ministry and He was ready to choose twelve apostles who would work as a special team. These twelve men were to plant, organize and train the early church. He also gave them special powers to heal the sick and cast out demons.
Some of these men, namely Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew and Matthew had been following Jesus for several months. When it became day, He called these men along with a number of other disciples who had been following Him and He selected twelve from that number to be His apostles.
Those chosen were Simon Peter; Andrew (Peter’s brother); James; John (James’ brother, possibly cousins of Jesus); Philip; Bartholomew (also called Nathaniel); Thomas (sometimes called Didymus); Matthew (also called Levi); James (son of Alphaeus, sometimes referred to as James the Less); Lebbaeus Thaddeus (also called Judas, son of James); Simon (the Cananite, also referred to as the Zealot); and Judas Iscariot.
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.”
Mt. 12:15-21; Mk. 3:7-12
The northern end of the Sea of Galilee was about seventy-five miles from Jerusalem. When Jesus saw that His life was in danger, He left Judea and went back to this area. He was safe around the sea because of the many different jurisdictions that bordered it.
A multitude of sick and cripple people from great distances followed Jesus to Galilee and He healed all of them.