Our pastor is preaching a series on the Sermon on the Mount. I have taught through this passage and still feel that I have little understanding of the significance of our Lord's teaching in this setting. I came across a great quote from J. Gresham Machen in Christianity and Liberalism. He reminds me of the clear and simple truth of this great teaching.
"Men say that it [the Sermon on the Mount] contains no theology; in reality it contains theology of the most stupendous kind. In particular, it contains the loftiest possible presentation of Jesus' own Person. That presentation appears in the strange note of authority which pervades the whole discourse; it appears in the recurrent words, "But I say unto you." Jesus plainly puts His own words on an equality with what He certainly regarded as the divine words of Scripture; He claimed the right to legislate for the Kingdom of God."
J Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, page 36