The Sermon on the Mount

PART FOUR - PRIORITIES

The theme of the Sermon on the Mount is stated in Mat. 5:20. Our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of Pharisees if we are to please God.

One of the great faults of the Jews was mixed up priorities, they put the wrong things first. In chapter 6 we see what Jesus wants us to consider important and how it contrasts with what the Jews considered important.

I. "TO BE SEEN OF MEN"( Mat. 6:1 ).

A. SEEN IN THEIR EFFORTS FOR GOOD.

1. In doing alms - giving to the poor ( vs. 2-3 ).

2. In praying ( vs. 5-6 ).

3. In fasting ( vs. 16-18 ).

B. HOW DID THEY DO THEIR GOOD DEEDS? WITH AS MUCH FUSS AS THEY COULD MANAGE. BUT JESUS TELLS US TO DO OUR GOOD DEEDS IN SECRET. WHY?

C. THEY WANTED PRAISE OF MEN. DID THEY GET WHAT THEY WANTED?

1. Jesus criticizes them again( Mat. 23:1-7 ).

2. But we are not worthy to be elevated above our neighbor( vs. 8-12; Rom. 12:3 ).

3. Seeking of human glory interferes with serving God( Gal. 1:10 ), because when we seek to please men, we do what they want, not what God wants.

4. Human glory is fleeting( 1 John 2:16-17; 1 Pet. 1:24-25; 5:10 ).

5. Contrasted with the attitude that we should have( Mat. 18:1-4; 1 Pet. 5:6; Luke 14:7-11 ).

D. THEIR HEARTS WERE NOT IN THEIR DEEDS( Mat. 15:7-9 ).

II. "WHERE THY TREASURE IS"( Mat. 6:19-34 ).

A. "THERE WILL THY HEART BE ALSO." YOU LOVE AND THINK ABOUT THINGS YOU THINK IMPORTANT. TO THE JEW EARTHLY THINGS WERE MOST VITAL.

1. Physical things perish, spiritual things last forever( 2 Cor. 4:16-18 ).

2. The love of them leads to all kinds of evil( 1 Tim. 6:9-10 )

B. "YE CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON"( Mat. 6:22-24 ).

Two things canít occupy first place. There is only one first place.

C. "BE NOT ANXIOUS FOR YOUR LIFE"( Mat. 6:25-34 ).

1. God takes care of the birds and flowers.

2. Worry doesn't help.

3. There is no reason to worry( vs. 31-32 ).

D. "SEEK YE FIRST"( vs. 33 ). God will take care of us if we do.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:

1. What is a priority?

2. What two things did the Jews make most important?

3. What was the purpose of their good deeds?

4. What is wrong with the reward they received?

5. How does seeking human glory interfere with serving God?

6. What do we love and think about the most?

7. Why should we seek his kingdom first?

8. What is wrong with making physical things most important?

9. If we seek the kingdom first?

MEMORY VERSE: Mat. 6:33