The Sermon on the Mount, given by Jesus after he choose his twelve disciples, are the beginning words of God's New Covenant (agreement) offered to all mankind. Unlike the Old Covenant, which offered only physical blessings, the New Covenant makes possible eternal spiritual blessings.
The traditional location of Jesus' sermon is on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Gennesaret. The actual location of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7, Luke 6:20-49) is not certain, but the present site (also known as Mount Eremos) has been commemorated for more than 1,600 years. The site is very near Tabgha. A Byzantine church was erected near the current site in the 4th century, and it was used until the 7th century. Remains of a cistern and a monastery are still visible. The current Roman Catholic Franciscan chapel was built in 1938 A.D.
The Mount overlooks the plain of Gennesaret, an area known for its fertility. The New Testament records several times that Jesus was in this area - including when he healed the multitudes and faced condemnation from the Pharisees for ritual impurity.
Jesus, after he and his disciples sat down (near the top of the ridge in the above photo - where the church is located), began to give his "sermon" about simple but profound spiritual truths:
"And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
"'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
"'Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
"'Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
"'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"'Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you . . .
"'You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.' But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire . . .
"'You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
"'You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
"'For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
"'Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.'" (Matthew 5:1-12, 21-22, 27-28, 43-48, NKJV)