The Sermon on the Mount was delivered, according to tradition, from the Mount of the Beatitudes, north-west of the lake. The land here forms a natural theatre, from which Jesus’s words could have been heard a long way. Not only in this sermon but also in his parables Jesus explained in practical terms what the kingdom of God meant.

Jesus Escapes from Herod Antipas.
Image source: © Carta, Jerusalem

The miracles, too—the works of mercy and power which also formed part of his ministry – were further visible signs of the kingdom of God. The way of life to be followed by those who wished to enter the kingdom of God was the way of life to be seen in Jesus himself.

Above all, the kingdom of God took its character from the God whose kingdom it was. Jesus taught his followers to think and speak of God as their Father, the liberal giver of all good things, who shows kindness and compassion even to those who do not deserve or appreciate his gifts.

He taught them not only to place utter trust in God but to imitate him by showing kindness to others, even to the point of repaying evil with good. Where in consequence human beings behaved in such a way, the kingdom of God was present already, as it was present in his own person and work.