We are working our way through the gospel according to Matthew on Wednesday nights.
Today, I’m preparing for us to finish Matthew 5-7, Jesus’s big sermon (aka the Sermon on the Mount).
We have analyzed Matthew 5, then Matthew 6…
And before I open my notes for today, I’m challenging myself to reflect on what I’ve learned:
- In the “blessed are the…” section, I see Jesus’s kingdom valuing:
- recognition of own sin & need,
- restoration of peace, and
- taking persecution for restoration of relationship with God & others.
- In the “You have heard it said, but I say…” section, I see Jesus showing the Law was a measure of justice, fairness, not hurting another; and the standard of Jesus’s kingdom is higher.
- In fairness, your actions are determined by the other person’s actions. Jesus expects our actions to be determined by who God is – a constant that doesn’t change.
- In justice, you have a right to specific compensation when you are harmed. Jesus expects us to lay down this right for the sake of God’s plan.
- In the instructions on how to practice righteousness, I see so much about God my Heavenly Father… both as the motivation and the instruction for praying, giving to the poor, fasting, forgiving, not worrying.
I do all these things with confidence about who He is and with confidence that I am rewarded by who He is.
- In chapter 7, I see criteria for following the “blessed are the…” from chapter 5 & the instructions on practicing righteousness :
- Blessed are the poor in spirit – recognize the plank in your eye
- Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy – don’t judge, least you be judged.
- Give us the day our daily bread – if you give good gifts to your children, how much more will your a Father in heaven!
- You heard it said love your neighbor… I say love your enemies – treat people the same way you want them to treat you.
- You heard it said do not (murder, adultery, lie)… I say don’t just keep the law, restore relationships – don’t try to enter through the broad gate, enter through the narrow gate
- Do things for heavenly rewards, storing up treasures in heaven; treasures on earth burn up – good fruit vs bad fruit, house on rock vs house on stand
Wow! If this is all I internalize from the Bible, I think might be okay!