Why is the “Sermon on the Mount” so famous? The words of Christ in Matthew 5-7 speak not only to the heart of Christianity with a message of grace, humility and sacrifice, but the SOTM also has found a place in popular culture. As a Christian, I have a good reason to appreciate teachings on the spiritual world (5:3), instruction on how to pray (6:9-13) or a Rabbi's commentary on the Torah (5:21-48). But what is it that a non-Christian is hearing in this message? It was the crowds, not the disciples, who were “amazed at His teaching (7:28).”
There is something profoundly “anti-religious” about this sermon. Although the SOTM may be a good “reason to be a Christian,” the SOTM also seems to challenge what religion, or even Christianity, might mean.