Matthew 7:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 7:28, NIV: When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,

Matthew 7:28, ESV: And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching,

Matthew 7:28, KJV: And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

Matthew 7:28, NASB: When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching;

Matthew 7:28, NLT: When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,

Matthew 7:28, CSB: When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at his teaching,

What does Matthew 7:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus' teaching in Matthew chapters 5—7 has become known as the Sermon on the Mount. The event likely took place just north of the Sea of Galilee near a town called Capernaum. Matthew began simply by saying that Jesus went up on a mountain—in the context of that region, an elevated spot above the crowd—sat down, and began to teach. His disciples were there, and so were "the crowds" (Matthew 5:1–2). That message focused on clarifying the purpose of God's laws and commandments.

Common to that series of lessons is that God looks on attitude and motivation just as much as outward behavior. Hypocritical or performance-based shallowness is not real righteousness. God knows the difference and expects His people to do more than serve out of selfishness and pride.

Having finished his report of Jesus' sermon, Matthew describes those crowds as "astonished." The Greek term here is exeplēssonto, which literally means to be "struck." Christ's convicting and challenging words fit the meaning of a common English expression: "hit like a ton of bricks." His audience had never heard teaching like this in their lives. They didn't just nod along in affirmation. They were genuinely surprised by what Jesus said.

In addition, the crowds are also staggered by the way Jesus taught. Rather than speaking as someone passing along the wisdom of others, Jesus speaks as the Source and Authority of these ideas (Matthew 7:29).