April 3, 31 CE — The Sermon on the Mount

By any reasonable standard, the Sermon on the Mount is a confused mess. The best-known section of it, the Beautitudes, are a series of platitudes in which, as Monty Python pointed out, Jesus states that blessed is everyone with a vested interest in the status quo. It doesn’t help that the two Gospels that mention them – Luke and Matthew – disagree on how many of them there are, and what they say, either. The Sermon goes on to include several parables.

Nonetheless, the Sermon on the Mount is one of the best-known events in the entire ministry of Jesus, and the Beatitudes in particular have been a foundation of Christian ethics for centuries. Notably, Matthew states that it was in this Sermon that Jesus gave forth that most frequently ignored of all his teachings: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

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