The Sermon on the Mount is the first and largest “behavior” section in Matthew and as such provides the foundation for everything that is to follow. It can be divided into parts, easily seen in the reading:
1) Introduction – the fundamentals of a holy heart. 5:1-20
2) Misinterpretations corrected – Jesus addresses improper behavior coming from a misinterpretation of the Law of God. 5:21 – 48.
3) Negative commands – “Don’t do this” 6:1 – 7:6
4) Positive commands – “Do this.” 7:7 – 20
5) Conclusion – the wisdom of obedience. 7:24 – 29
There is an important point you should not miss in the “Introduction.” Matthew points out that Jesus’ ethical requirements are no different from those in the Old Testament. In fact, all of what are called the “beattitudes” can be found in the Old Testament. Jesus didn’t come to do away with the ethical code of the Old Testament, but to make it possible. The ethical code of the Old Testament will endure, Jesus says, “until heaven and earth passes.”