What does Matthew 7:28 mean?
ESV: And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
NIV: When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,
NASB: When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching;
CSB: When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
NLT: When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,
KJV: And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
NKJV: And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,
Verse Commentary:
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).
Verse Context:
Matthew 7:28–29 describes the reaction of the crowds after Jesus had finished teaching what we now call the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1–2). They were astonished. They had never heard teaching like His. Accustomed to the more philosophical teaching of the Jewish rabbis, they were shocked to hear Jesus be so authoritative and definitive about truth and error, right and wrong, life and destruction.
Chapter Summary:
Matthew 7 is the last of three chapters that record what is now known as the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus commands His hearers not to pronounce shallow or hypocritical judgment. He describes God as a generous Father eager to give good things to His children when they ask. He commands His followers to enter the narrow gate and walk the hard road to life. False prophets can be recognized by their fruit, meaning their actions and choices. At the same time, good deeds are not absolute proof that someone has true faith. To live by Jesus' teaching is like building the house of your life on a solid foundation instead of shifting sand.
Chapter Context:
Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount in chapter 5, discussing the Beatitudes and the idea that inner thoughts are very much part of sin and righteousness. Chapter 6 denounced hypocrisy, modeled prayer, and opposed anxiety. Chapter 7 discusses the proper manner of judgment, including how to gauge the teachings of others. Jesus also warns against spiritual self-deception. He concludes with an analogy about foundations and storms. The crowd's amazement at Christ's teachings leads into the miracles and encounters of chapters 8 and 9.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
Accessed 5/29/2024 1:53:44 PM
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