What Is Jesus Doing in the Sermon on the Mount?
In my mind's eye I can see Jesus sitting on this hill with all these people surrounding him overlooking the sea of Galilee, and preaching his most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount. But at the heart of that sermon is an even more famous sermonette. It's a sermonette of the Beatitudes. Almost every Christian, almost every culture in the world understand the Beatitudes.
Blessed are thee or as you say in the southern United States, blessed are those who, but what does it actually mean? It's one thing to say, "Blessed are those who ..." in a ceremonial, sort of ritualistic, everybody knows it sense, but actually we all want to be blessed, right?
Actually the word "blessed" could be translated from the Greek to the word "happy." Jesus is saying... he's speaking to the universal language of every person that has ever lived on planet earth. He's answering a question that is as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago. It's as relevant to the person in the corner office in New York City as it was relevant to the villager that stumbled upon that hill that day.
Jesus says, "Do you want to be happy? Well, here's how you can be happy. You will be blessed if ..." and that's what the beatitudes answers for us. How can we be happy?