After Jesus’s time in the desert, he launched into his public ministry by proclaiming the message that the kingdom of God was at hand, choosing his disciples, and preaching to and healing the crowds. With Matthew 5, the Gospel shifts to the record of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount—his teaching on how citizens of the kingdom of God should conduct themselves. The sermon begins with the Beatitudes, blessings God gives to people who cultivate certain spiritual attributes. They emphasize inner motives rather than mere outward conformity. Jesus then shifted his message to the issue of behavior. Jesus addressed several Jewish laws and helped his disciples understand how right behavior is never the ultimate indicator. A person must have the right heart motive too. The commands of God remind us that he has a plan for how we ought to live our lives, and that plan is based on who he is and how he’s treated us. Ultimately, we must remember that the God who demands perfection has already provided a means through the perfect sacrifice of his Son, Jesus.
Holman Bible Publishers, CSB Disciple’s Study Bible: Notes (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 1417.