Matthew first sets the scene for the sermon on the mount by telling the reader that Jesus went up the mountain and sat down. I’ve never really recognized the importance of this detail. I had always assumed that Jesus went up on to the mountain so that people could see him and hear him more clearly, but the mountain is more profound than a grand stage for Jesus here. Jesus went up to the mountain because he could see more of the world this way. Jesus in his sermon and beatitudes was sharing a vision of the new kingdom, the kingdom of God, that he was planning to bring about. Jesus wanted as much of the world as he could reach from that mountain and so much more to know that the kingdom of God was here and that this is what it would look like.