Day 1 Read: Matthew 5:1-2
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
Reflect: Why do you think the disciples followed Jesus to the mountain? What might they have expected Him to do?
Consider: Jesus ascended a mountain when He saw the crowds because He deemed the mountainside to be a better setting for teaching a large group. As the new Moses, His delivery of God’s message from a mountaintop provides yet another parallel with the ancient Moses. The Greek words translated He went up on the mountain are used three times in the Greek OT (Ex 19:3; 24:18; 34:28), and all three fall in the section describing Moses’ ascent of Mount Sinai. This fits with Matthew’s repeated theme of drawing out parallels between Moses and Jesus. For instance, Jesus’ birth paralleled several events surrounding Moses’ birth. Herod attempted to kill the infant Christ by ordering the slaughter of Bethlehem’s boys (Mt 2:16-18) much as Pharaoh ordered the execution of newborn male Israelites (Ex 1:15-18,22). Furthermore, the angel’s pronouncement that danger had passed (“Those who sought the child’s life are dead,” Mt 2:20) is a clear echo of Ex 4:19, “All the men who wanted to kill you are dead”.
Respond: Jesus could have taught the crowd many different truths. Why do you think He chose to focus on His followers? How would hearing this teaching be different for someone who is just following the crowd and one who is a true disciple?