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This first episode is entitled, “Radical and Revolutionary” and is intended to serve as an introduction that looks at the setting and circumstances surrounding Jesus’ message. One of the problems we face as 21st-Century Christians is that we have a habit of reading the Bible with a post-cross, this-side-of-the-resurrection perspective. It’s only natural, because that’s our historical point of view. But when reading the Scriptures, we need to always keep in mind who is speaking or writing and the exact nature of the original audience. Who were they? What were their circumstances? How would they have received what was being said or stated? This is particularly important when it comes to the Sermon on the Mount, because the original audience was predominantly Jews and, because Jesus had not yet died and rose again, none of the people in His hearing were yet believers. According to the text, there were only four disciples in the crowd that day. Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John. And they had just begun to follow Jesus. At that time, early on in Jesus’ ministry, they had no idea who He was, other than a rabbi whom they had decided to follow. So when we read this account in Matthew, it is essential that we try to “get in the sandals” of those in Jesus’ audience that day. We need to listen to His words with their ears and from their perspective. And if we do, it will make this passage come alive. It truly contains Christ’s counter-culture call. It was radical and revolutionary. And still is.