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Podcast Episode

Why Do the Beatitudes Matter for the Overworked and Hopeless?

Why do we not find the Sermon on the Mount in the gospels of Mark or John? Why is “blessed” not a good translation of the word makarios? And if Jesus says that mourning, powerlessness, and poverty are the key to the good life, should we pursue those things? In this episode, Tim and Jon respond to your questions from the first seven episodes of the Sermon on the Mount series. Thank you to our audience for your incredible questions!

Episode 11
1hr 9m
Mar 11, 2024
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Show Notes
Episodes

Timestamps

  • Why do we not find the Sermon on the Mount in the gospels of Mark or John? (1:05)
  • Why is “blessed" not a good translation of makarios? (9:43)
  • Why does Matthew 5:3 matter to people who feel overworked, crushed, oppressed, domesticated, complacent, powerless, and hopeless? (19:25)
  • Should we pursue mourning, powerlessness, and poverty if that is the good life? (27:34)
  • Is there something I should be doing to attain the blessings in the Beatitudes? (27:58)
  • How can we “bless the Lord?” (37:27)
  • Isn’t there more to righteousness than right relationships with others? (46:18)
  • Is the meekness Jesus describes the same as Moses’ meekness in Numbers 12:3? (52:24)
  • Are there techniques early Christians used that could help us today to remember and reflect on the sermon? (60:17)

Referenced Resources

  • Interested in more? Check out Tim’s library here.
  • You can experience our entire library of resources in the BibleProject app, available for Android and iOS.

Show Music

  • Original Sermon on the Mount music by Richie Kohen
  • BibleProject theme song by TENTS

Show Credits

Jon Collins is the creative producer for today’s show, and Tim Mackie is the lead scholar. Production of today’s episode is by Lindsey Ponder, producer; Cooper Peltz, managing producer; and Colin Wilson, producer. Tyler Bailey is our audio engineer and editor, and he provided the sound design and mix. JB Witty does our show notes, and Hannah Woo provides the annotations for our app. Audience questions compiled by Christopher Maier. Today’s host is Jon Collins.

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Scripture References
Genesis 16
Numbers 12
Matthew 5:3
Genesis 15
1 Timothy 4:13-14
Matthew 19:21
John 2
John 21:25
Matthew 4:12-25
Matthew 6
Matthew 26:61
Mark 9:42-50
Luke 6:17-59
Matthew 19:16-22
Psalms 103
Proverbs 15
Matthew 22:37
Numbers 12:3

16 Episodes

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Episode 16
Why Does Jesus Want Us to Love Our Enemies?
In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus shares his sixth and final case study based on the wisdom of the Torah, and it may be the most challenging one yet. The first three case studies focused on treating others as sacred image-bearers of God. The fourth and fifth case studies offered guidance on how to handle conflict. And in the final case study, Jesus concludes with wisdom on how to respond to people who not only dislike us but even desire our harm. In this episode, Jon and Tim discuss one of Jesus’ most famous teachings: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
52m • Apr 15, 2024
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Episode 15
What Jesus Means by “Turn the Other Cheek”
In Matthew 5:38-42, Jesus offers wisdom from the Torah about retaliation, justice, and nonviolent resistance to injustice. He references a series of laws in Exodus 21, Leviticus 24, and Deuteronomy 19, all of which contain the familiar language of “eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” Jesus reveals the surprising wisdom within these laws, using real-life scenarios that would have been familiar to oppressed Israelites living under Roman occupation: turning the other cheek, giving your cloak, and going the extra mile. In this episode, Jon, Tim, and Michelle discuss how these actions can open up our imaginations for boldly standing against injustice in creative, nonviolent ways.
1hr 1m • Apr 8, 2024
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Episode 14
Why Does Jesus Say Not to Swear Oaths?
In Matthew 5:33-48, Jesus offers three case studies about how people can work together in spite of conflict. The first case study focuses on the ancient practice of oath keeping. By the time of Jesus, ancient Israelites no longer spoke the divine name of Yahweh out of respect, but they would still swear oaths by things closely related to God—like the sky, land, temple, etc. Some people used these oaths as a loophole because they felt less serious to break (“I only swore by the temple!”). In this episode, Jon and Tim discuss Jesus’ teaching on oaths, which demonstrates God’s wisdom on the integrity of our words and the danger of even small deceptions.
47m • Apr 1, 2024
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Episode 13
How Jesus Responded to the Divorce Debate
In Matthew 5:31-32, Jesus offers a quote from the Torah about when it is lawful to divorce, and then he shares his perspective. But what is the context of these words, and how would Jesus’ original audience have heard them? It’s easy for modern readers to miss, but Jesus is entering a longstanding debate concerning a passage about divorce in Deuteronomy 24—and his take is surprising. In this episode, Jon, Tim, and special guest Jeannine Brown discuss the story surrounding divorce in ancient Israel, the Bible’s ideal of covenant loyalty, and the wisdom we can find in Scripture to navigate divorce in our culture today.
45m • Mar 25, 2024
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Episode 12
Jesus' Vision for Sex and Desire
In Matthew 5:27-30, Jesus references the Torah’s command to not commit adultery (Exod. 20:14), going on to say that any man who lusts (or “goes on looking”) at a woman commits adultery with her in his heart. So what is his solution to avoid lust? Cut off a hand and gouge out an eye! Whoa—what is Jesus talking about? In this episode, Jon, Tim, and special guest Lucy Peppiatt discuss the meaning and impact of lust, the Bible’s original ideal for men and women, and Jesus’ countercultural vision for sex and marriage in the Kingdom of the skies.
48m • Mar 18, 2024
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Episode 11
Why Do the Beatitudes Matter for the Overworked and Hopeless?
Why do we not find the Sermon on the Mount in the gospels of Mark or John? Why is “blessed” not a good translation of the word *makarios*? And if Jesus says that mourning, powerlessness, and poverty are the key to the good life, should we pursue those things? In this episode, Tim and Jon respond to your questions from the first seven episodes of the Sermon on the Mount series. Thank you to our audience for your incredible questions!
1hr 9m • Mar 11, 2024
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Episode 10
How Is Anger the Same as Murder?
In Matthew 5:21-48, Jesus reveals the divine wisdom of Israel’s Old Testament laws through six case studies. In the first case study, he expounds on one of the Ten Commandments, “Do not murder” (Exod. 20:13). After acknowledging this command, Jesus takes it further by saying that anyone who is angry with his brother or publicly shames someone is also guilty of murder. What does he mean? In this episode, Jon and Tim discuss Matthew 5:21-32, exploring key concepts—such as murder, contempt, and divine justice—and what they tell us about the value of human beings.
57m • Mar 4, 2024
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Episode 9
What Does Jesus Think of Old Testament Laws?
What did Jesus mean when he said he came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets? In Jesus’ day, the laws from the Torah were over a thousand years old. And the Jewish people under Roman occupation weren’t able to follow all of the laws perfectly, leading to countless interpretations of how the people could observe the Torah. So what made this rabbi from Nazareth’s approach to the law any different? In this episode, Jon and Tim discuss Matthew 5:17-20, unpacking its historical context, most perplexing phrases, and the greater righteousness that Jesus is introducing to his listeners.
48m • Feb 26, 2024
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Episode 8
The Salt of the Land and the Light of the World
Why does Jesus call his followers salt and light? In the Hebrew Bible, salt is a metaphor for God’s long-lasting covenant with Israel, connected to priestly sacrifices, ritual purity, and social bonds. And the Hebrew word for light, or, shares a wordplay with torah, meaning God’s wise instruction. God’s wisdom given in the Torah is a light for Israel that they are called to share with the nations. In this episode, Jon and Tim discuss the meanings of salt and light, showing how Jesus applies these covenant words to his new community of followers.
47m • Feb 19, 2024
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Episode 7
What Does It Mean to Make Peace? (The Beatitudes Pt. 4)
What will it cost us to live like Jesus in our world? In the third and final triad of the Beatitudes, Jesus declares that the good life belongs to the peacemakers. But making peace Jesus-style will mean conflict, pain, difficulty, and even persecution. In this episode, Tim, Jon, and others explore the cultural tensions surrounding Jesus, his audience, and the four ancient groups who tried to make peace and how Jesus’ teachings created conflict with all of these groups.
45m • Feb 12, 2024
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Episode 6
The Type of People God Is Forming (The Beatitudes Pt. 3)
What does it look like to have our desires and actions completely aligned with God’s will? In the second triad of the Beatitudes, Jesus paints a picture of the kind of people God is forming in the Kingdom of the Skies. In this episode, Tim, Jon, and guests break down the biblical words for righteousness, justice, mercy, and purity throughout the Bible, leading up to Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount.
47m • Feb 5, 2024
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Episode 5
The Powerless, Grieving, and Unimportant (The Beatitudes Pt. 2)
What does it mean to be poor in spirit, mourning, and meek? Jesus uses these words in the opening of the Sermon on the Mount, and the guys examine them in biblical Greek and Hebrew, finding that a better translation may be “powerless,” “grieving,” and “unimportant.” These are the people that Jesus believes will have the “good life.” How can that be? In this episode, Jon, Tim, and guests explore the first triad of the Beatitudes, shedding light on how those at the bottom of society are actually better prepared to receive the kingdom of the skies.
41m • Jan 29, 2024
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Episode 4
What Does "Blessed" Mean? (The Beatitudes Pt. 1)
What does Jesus mean when he calls people “blessed” in the first section of the Sermon on the Mount? The Greek word translated as “blessed” is makarios, and its Hebrew equivalent is ashrey, which means “the good life.” But there’s another Hebrew word for blessing, barukh, which refers to blessings from God. In this episode, Tim, Jon, and guests unpack what it means to be blessed according to Jesus’ counterintuitive message as he ushers in the kingdom of the skies.
34m • Jan 22, 2024
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Episode 3
The Sermon on the Mount's Place in the Gospel of Matthew
The Sermon on the Mount is one of five major speeches Jesus gives in the Gospel of Matthew, and there are many similarities between these speeches. What is Matthew doing in his gospel that is unique from the other gospels? And how does this shape his portrayal of Jesus? In this episode, Jon and Tim discuss how the Sermon on the Mount fits into the larger context of the Gospel of Matthew.
41m • Jan 15, 2024
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Episode 2
The Hebrew Bible’s Connection to the Sermon on the Mount
As a Jewish rabbi, Jesus was immersed in the Hebrew Bible, or what Christians often call the Old Testament. The Hebrew Bible tells the story of God working with ancient Israel to bring about his Kingdom. And in the New Testament, Jesus claimed that God’s Kingdom was at long last arriving in him. In this episode, Tim and Jon walk through the three parts of the Hebrew Bible, showing how they connect to what Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount. Plus, Michelle, Dan, and Aaron go on a field trip to look at a Torah scroll to better understand how the Hebrew Bible is designed.
44m • Jan 8, 2024
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Episode 1
Kicking Off a Year With Sermon on the Mount
Most of us have probably heard sayings from Jesus’ famous teaching, commonly called the Sermon on the Mount. It's only 100 verses, but the sermon has created an enduring legacy that has shaped countless lives throughout history. In this first episode of a yearlong series on the Sermon on the Mount, Tim and Jon introduce some new voices and share stories of influential people who were inspired by Jesus’ words. Then the team lays out the basic facts of the Sermon on the Mount and the different ways it’s been interpreted over 2,000 years.
57m • Jan 1, 2024
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