Sermon on the MountI’ve begun reading D. A. Carson’s small commentary on the Sermon on the Mount to go along with my morning reading through Matthew.

Here’s an interesting insight I thought I’d share.

The beatitudes begin with, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt 5:3).

The last beatitude is, ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt 5:10).

Unlike the others, both the first and last beatitudes give the same promise (‘theirs is the kingdom of heaven’).

Here’s what Carson had to say about this:

To begin and end with the same expression is a stylistic device called an ‘inclusion’. This means that everything bracketed between the two can really be included under the one theme, in this case, the kingdom of heaven. That is why I have called the beatitudes, collectively, ‘The Norms of the Kingdom’.

Interesting stuff. This fits with the idea of the Sermon on the Mount about the Kingdom of God, along with Jesus’s parables. Even His miracles are tied to the Kingdom of God (Matthew 4:23).