Christ had compassion on His people who knew neither their Lord nor themselves. He chose His disciples out of these lost ones. He called them and led them to a hill where He sat and taught His chosen disciples and the crowds around them. In the midst of nature, Christ declared the principles of the divine kingdom and revealed His heavenly constitution.The many miraculous healings of Christ in Galilee, which we read about at the close of the previous chapter, were intended to prepare the way for this fundamental sermon and to dispose people to receive instructions from the One in whom appeared the divine power, goodness and mercy. Probably, this sermon was the summary of what He had preached in several synagogues of Galilee. His basic theme was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Through His sermon He wants to reform not only our acts but also our aims, not only our deeds but also our intentions. He reassures us of God’s word: “Return to Me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 3:7).The place of the sermon was one of the hills in Galilee. Christ had no convenient place to preach in, any more than “to lay His head” on. While the scribes and Pharisees had Moses’ chair to sit in, with all possible comfort, honor and state, and there corrupted the law, our Lord Jesus, the great Teacher of truth had to choose a hill as His pulpit. This hill was not a holy place as the mountain of Zion. In this way Christ intimates that men should pray and preach the holy Gospel everywhere.Christ delivered this sermon as an exposition of His divine law upon a mountain, because upon a “mountain” the Old Testament law was given. But observe the difference. When the law was given to Moses, the Lord “came down” upon the mountain, now the Lord “went up.” On the mount of Sinai the Lord spoke in thunder and lightning, but in Galilee, in a kind voice. Previously the people were ordered to keep their distance, now they were invited to draw near, a blessed change! (2 Corinthians 3:7; Hebrew 12:18)The listeners standing near to Jesus were His disciples who followed His call (Mark 3:13; Luke 6:13). To them He directed His speech, because they followed Him for love not of necessity, while others attended Him only for healing. He taught His followers, because they were willing to listen. They wanted to understand every word He taught. Because they were to teach others in future it was necessary that they should have a clear and distinct knowledge of all details of His Law themselves.Jesus opened His Sermon on the Mount with the unique word “Blessed.” He repeated it nine times like a bell ringing from heaven, proclaiming to us that happiness and rejoicing are the basis and the secret of the law of His kingdom. You do not have to fulfill burdensome commandments and statutes or perform certain rituals to enter the kingdom of God, but you should accept the kind words of Christ with the simplicity of faith. Then you will be saved from divine judgment and delivered from eternal punishment. Christ invites you to overwhelming joy since He did not come to destroy sinners but to save them. God’s constitution for mankind is based on everlasting joy, thankfulness and exultation, not on ordinances and tears.