In the Gospel of Matthew, the first sermon of Jesus. It is a central expression of his teachings regarding the new age he has come to proclaim. Jesus tells his followers that he expects them to be even more generous than the Mosaic law requires: “Be ye perfect,” he says, “even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
The Sermon on the Mount begins with the Beatitudes. It also contains the Lord's Prayer; the Golden Rule (“Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them”); the commandments to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, and cast not pearls before swine; the image of false prophets as wolves in sheep's clothing; and many other well-known teachings, including: “Ye are the salt of the Earth,” “ Love your enemies,” “Consider the lilies of the field,” “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” “ Ask, and it shall be given you,” and “ By their fruits ye shall know them.”
After spending a night in solemn meditation and prayer in the lonely mountain-range to the west of the Lake of Galilee (Luke 6:12), on the following morning our Lord called to him his disciples, and from among them chose twelve, who were to be henceforth trained to be his apostles (Mark 3:14, 15). After this solemn consecration of the twelve, he descended from the mountain-peak to a more level spot (Luke 6:17), and there he sat down and delivered the "sermon on the mount" (Matt. 5-7; Luke 6:20-49) to the assembled multitude. The mountain here spoken of was probably that known by the name of the "Horns of Hattin" (Kurun Hattin), a ridge running east and west, not far from Capernaum. It was afterwards called the "Mount of Beatitudes."