Micah delivers a powerful condemnation of God’s people—of us. O my people, what have I done that makes you turn away from me? TLB
Micah has God’s people responding, Could I give my firstborn to pay for my crimes,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” CJB
No, he has told you what he wants, and this is all it is: to be fair, just, merciful, and to walk humbly with your God. TLB
Jesus echoes those words as recorded in Matthew. But before we get into them, please reread the first two verses. Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. NIV One day as the crowds were gathering, he went up the hillside with his disciples and sat down and taught them there. TLB
It is easy to see the word crowds and assume that Jesus taught the masses. Yet, the text is clear that Jesus went away from the crowds and spoke to his disciples. But he did it in such a way that the crowds could hear every word. Why?
Jesus completed the task of calling twelve followers (even though Matthew only mentioned four) and he now wants those twelve to know they are special. But he also wants everyone else to know it as well. In effect, he is saying to the twelve, “You were once just one of the mass, now you are my men. I have chosen you to be humble in spirit, to know sorrow and provide comfort, to give up the things of the world for the things of God, to do good, to show mercy, to remain pure, to work for peace, and to be willing to take on my suffering.”
He is also telling the crowd that these men are special. They are men of God, and you can count on them to do what I will teach them to do. You are the salt of the earth….
At this point, Jesus is still talking about the disciples but is making a gradual turn towards a sermon directed at the disciples and the crowds equally. “Yes, these Twelve are the salt of the earth, but you soon will be as well.”
Be righteous and do good.