Was Jesus A Teacher?
Rev. Jeff Wood, First Presbyterian Church of Sebastian
Ever since the invention of the book, with cover, binding and pages (as opposed to rolls of parchment or tablets of stone), there has been the matter of arrangement, meaning what comes first and second and third and so on. Matthew is first of the NT and the Sermon on the Mount is Jesus’ first teaching. So the context for our passage is beginning, opening, first, start.
I’m momentarily uncomfortable with referring to the sermon as Jesus’ teaching because Jesus doesn’t just explain but Jesus proclaims. Teaching explains. Proclaiming announces. One bleeds into the other often times. Teaching does proclaim and proclaiming does teach. But there is here in this beginning sermon a lot of announcing. “Here’s the news.” Not, “Here’s an explanation.” This is probably a digression unnecessary so let’s move on. Note that Christianity at its core is good news and not at its core moral teaching. If an enemy is coming at you, a teacher teaches you to fight but a proclaimer announces that Jesus beat the enemy.