While the priests opened the scrolls to teach the people, the Lord Jesus Christ was unique; he opened his mouth. While all teaching from Christ is profound, the book of Matthew records a large section of teaching that is some of the most recounted and well-known words from Christ’s earthly ministry. They are known simply as the Sermon on the Mount. So important is this discourse that many commentaries are devoted solely to Matthew 5-7. In November, Baker Books released a repackaged version of D.A. Carson’s exposition of Matthew 5-10 titled Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation with the World.Following D.A. Carson’s commitment to Scripture, this book contains no surprises and is a straightforward exposition of the text from Mathew 5 through Matthew 10. The book is divided into two parts. Part one follows the Sermon on the Mount by detailing the significance of chapters 5-7 of Matthew. Part two continues through Matthew, chapters 8-10, as Carson reveals Jesus Christ’s character and his confrontation with the world through his authority, mission, and compassion. At various points, Carson will address varying opinions on texts while sharing why he leans towards a certain perspective, but he does so sparingly and instead focuses on a simple explanation and application of the text. Personally, I have developed an ongoing appreciation for D.A. Carson. The more I interact with his materials, the more I am thankful for his ministry because he never fails to teach in a way that leads an individual towards a clear interpretation and a meaningful application. This book is no different. Without overwhelming the readers, the author provides content and details in order to sufficiently understand the text. More importantly, he does so without straying from Scripture and maintains the integrity of this powerful text. Additionally, D.A. Carson does not write in isolation about each text, but instead he makes sure that readers understand how a specific passage relates to the text before and after it. In doing so, he demonstrates why one should not merely focus on a verse or passage, but instead recognize the relationship between all. By showing this ongoing continuity he teaches more deeply and draws readers attention to aspects of Scripture that are often overlooked. Finally, one should appreciate Carson’s emphasis on the gospel, especially in the Beatitudes. Often the Beatitudes are each taken individually with each representing a separate promise for the Christian life. Yet. Carson rightly explains each point, providing clear definitions and examples, and then evaluates each in light of the gospel that they are meant to portray. I am sure there is much more that can be said, but I must confess that I have not yet finished this book. While I think it is important to read and understand the entirety of a book before a recommendation, I make an exception here for one reason. So far in my reading, this particular book seems to be one of the best works that Carson has offered. So good is it, that it has taken me three weeks just to get to where I am at in the book. It is a book that I am reading with my Bible open and my Bible marking pens in hand in order to mark pages of notes. I would recommend you do the same. Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount requires one’s time, but the author is careful not to waste that time. Therefore, Bible students would do well to pick up a copy and spend time with it alongside their Bible.
To pick up a copy of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount by D.A. Carson, click here.
Another recommendation is D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones book Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, which you can find more about by clicking here.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher at no cost to me for the purposes of review. However, my review was not influenced in any way by the author, publisher, or any other person associated with this book and it is the direct result of my reading of it.