Inside: Jesus’ words have authority because He is God. Whether it was the original hearers of the Sermon on the Mount or present-day readers of the Bible, we cannot argue or disagree with the teachings in this sermon because they are the direct words of God.
Jesus is not only the preacher of the Sermon on the Mount, but He is the Sermon on the Mount. The hope is not just to be astonished and amazed by the authority of His teaching. The true hope is for us to see Jesus for who He truly is: the way and the truth and the life.
As Jesus concludes this sermon, the word He uses here for “finished” is “Teleo,” and Jesus isn’t simply ending it, but rather bringing it to its perfection or its intended goal.
28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.Matthew 7:28-29
What initially stands out to me in this verse is the response of the people who were listening to Jesus. Verse 28 tells us that they were astonished at His teaching because He spoke with authority, unlike their scribes. Some versions translate “astonished” as “amazed,” and the Greek word used here conveys being filled with amazement to the point of overwhelm. It encompasses the idea of wonder, astonishment, or amazement.
These listeners were shocked by Jesus’s message.
It’s one thing to be amazed by a sermon you just heard, but it’s another thing to be obedient to what you heard. The passage doesn’t mention whether the listeners were obedient to Jesus’s words. Jesus spoke with a level of authority they had never experienced before. He didn’t quote from a rabbi or another source, as the scribes would do, but spoke from His own knowledge.
As the text states, “He was teaching them as one who had authority.” This astonished them.
One commentator noted that while the others spoke based on authorities, Jesus spoke with authority.
Jesus’ words have authority because He is God. Whether it was the original hearers of the Sermon on the Mount or present-day readers of the Bible, we cannot argue or disagree with the teachings in this sermon because they are the direct words of God.
“But Jesus did not preach it in order to be admired for his homiletical skills. He preached it to produce obedience. He preached it so that the authority people recognized in his preaching might be realized in their lives. You have seen the authority in his sermon. Now, will you submit to it?“Sinclair Ferguson, The Sermon on the Mount
Listen to EP 152: The Authority of Jesus:
Resources & Links Mentioned in this Episode:
- Get 10% OFF your entire order when you purchase two books or more with promo code 10OFF2.
- 2 free gifts with your purchase that you’ll get access to immediately
- FREE Shipping automatically applied at checkout
“Here, sitting before all these people on that mountain, is this young Man, apparently just a carpenter from a little place called Nazareth in Galilee, an artisan, a common ordinary person. He had had no training in the schools, He was not a Pharisee or a scribe; He had not been sitting at the feet of Gamaliel or any of the great authorities or teachers. Apparently, He was just a very ordinary person who had lived a very ordinary life. But suddenly, He burst forth upon the countryside in an extraordinary ministry, and here He sits and begins to teach and to preach and to say the things we have been considering together. It is not surprising that these people were astonished. it was all so unexpected, so unusual in every way, so different from everything they had ever known.”
~ Martyn Lloyd Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
“The One who sat there on the Mount to teach is the One who at the end will sit on the throne of His glory and all the nations of the world shall appear before Him, and He will pronounce the judgment upon them.“~ Anonymous
“The Scribes were professionals. They were the taught ones, the ones who had been to school, we might say. They knew all the right stuff; they followed the law to its letter. But they had no power because they did not have the Spirit of God.”
~ Susan Heck, With the Master on the Mount
“They are self-effacing; He is self-advancing. They point away from themselves and say, “That is the truth as far as I perceive it; follow that. Jesus says I am the truth; follow me.”
~ John Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount
“In other words, we’re not told in the Sermon on the Mount, Live like this and you will become a Christian; rather we are told, because you are a Christian, live like this.”
~ Martyn Lloyd Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
“What does all this mean to you personally? The people who heard the Lord Jesus Christ in Galilee on the occasion of his preaching of the Sermon on the Mount were ‘amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.’ And yet, it is not said that any who heard him that day believed in his doctrine or committed themselves to him. Unfortunately, it is possible to do the same thing in our far more hectic and perhaps more sophisticated century.
What is the most important message of this Sermon? Certainly, it is the Person of Jesus of Nazareth himself, the Son of God, who spoke as no man has ever spoken before or since, who lived as he preached, and who then died and rose again that he might offer us a full and perfect salvation.
Do you believe that? Have you committed your life to his care? If you will make that commitment, he will then do for you all that he has promised. He will make you blessed in the sense given to the word in the Beatitudes. He will make you the salt of the earth, a light in this dark world. He will interpret the Scriptures to you through the Holy Spirit. He will teach you to pray. He will carry you through all the cares and tumults of this life to an eternity of unbroken fellowship with him.
Do you believe that? Today he is speaking to you. He is saying, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’ (Matt 11:28). ‘Believe on me.’ Let your own heart answer, ‘No one ever spoke the way this man does’ (John 7:46). ‘Yes, Lord, I want you to be my Savior.'”
~ James Montgomery Boice, The Sermon on the Mount
- Matthew 7:28-29
- Matthew 5:11
- Matthew 5:17
- Matthew 5-7
- Matthew 7:24,26
- Isaiah 6:5
- Matthew 7:24-27
- John 14:15-17
- Matthew 11:28
- John 7:46
- 1 Corinthians 3:11
- 2 Timothy 2:19
- Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by Martyn Lloyd Jones
- Sermon on the Mount The: Matthew 5-7 Expositional Commentary by James Montgomery Boice
- Matthew 1-7 MacArthur New Testament Commentary by John MacArthur
- Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Matthew by J.C. Ryle
- The Sermon on the Mount: The Message of the Kingdom (ESV Edition) by R. Kent Hughes
- Sermon on the Mount by Sinclair Ferguson
- The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 by Thomas Watson
- The Message of the Sermon on the Mount by John Stott
- Sermon on the Mount Teaching Series by Sinclair Ferguson at Ligonier Connect
- Logos Bible Software
- Bible Memory App
- Study Guide for Sermon on the Mount