The Sermon on The Mount – Part Three


Feature Photo: Adam Kring Upsplash.com

The Sermon on The Mount – Part Three

If you missed the introduction to The First Sermon on The Mount please tap on this link.

You will reach Part Two here.

Matthew 7:1-28

Tap this link for scriptures.

In this final session, Jesus begins by teaching on the issue of the judgment of others. He warns that in terms of how the Disciples judge others, they themselves will be judged by the same measure. In comparatively harsh words, He explains why they are not in a position to judge others. Rather they should concentrate judgment of themselves.

Changing subjects, Jesus goes on to tell His disciples they should be discerning with whom they share these teachings. Unholy people will mock their words, damming them, and finally, use those words to attack the disciples personally.

Jesus now tells them that there are three things they should always do: Ask, if they are in need; they should seek if they are in doubt, and should they wish to enter Him and follow his example, they only have to knock. He assures them, in asking, they will receive what they ask for, in seeking they will find what they are looking for. Lastly, if they knock to enter Him, he will open the door.

He now compares their giving to that of His Father and states his Father’s giving to be the stronger, this is the way that their giving should be.

Wrapping this point up, Jesus states that they should always do unto others as they would have others do to them. He explains that this is the fulfillment of their law.

Now Jesus talks about the way forward, saying, the entrance to the Kingdom of God on earth is only accessible through a narrow gate. This leads to an equally narrow walk. Because the gate is narrow, few find it. Because the way is so narrow, it is a difficult walk. They will observe though, that the world at large enters their lives via a wide gate, easy to find and easy to walk.

He warns His disciples concerning those that would approach them with differing doctrines. He says that whilst they would appear as mild as lambs on the outside, they will be as ferocious as wolves on the inside. The way they should judge this ilk is to look at the fruit they bear in their lives. They well know that grapes don’t grow on thorn bushes and figs are not found on thistles. Neither do good trees bear bad fruit or bad trees bear good fruit. Those that do not bear good fruit are uprooted and destroyed. In short, don’t entertain these, they will ultimately destroy themselves.

Jesus continues; saying that because there will be those that call Him “…Lord, Lord…” does not necessarily mean they will enter into the Kingdom. Only those who do His Father’s will. Even when these protest that they performed miracles in His name, He will say, “I don’t know you, away from me you thugs!”

Jesus concludes by saying that any person who hears His words and acts on them would be compared to a wise person, who builds their house on firm foundations. When violent storms ravaged the earth, the house stood firm. Those, however, who hear His words and do not act on them are like the foolish person, who built their house on sandy foundations. When the storms raged the house collapsed in a huge heap.

The crowds below observed that Jesus did not teach like the teachers of their day, but as a person who had authority.

My prayer is that this series enlivened the Spirit within you and me, resulting in us thanking God for etching these Kingdom principles into our hearts.

Blessings

Peter.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

The Sermon on The Mount – Part Two


Feature Photo: Adam Kring Upsplash.com

The Sermon on The Mount – Part Two

If you missed the introduction to The Sermon on The Mount please tap on this link.

You will reach Part One here.

Matthew 6:1-34

tap on this link for scriptures.

We read in the introduction that Jesus, moved away from the crowd, up the mount and sitting down, taught his Disciples. In other words, this teaching was only for them.

Today I would start by saying, the twelve disciples chosen by Jesus were all Jews and raised under the law of the Jewish Torah. The basis of Jesus’s teaching was not to set aside this law but expand it so as to express the heart of God.

In part one we said the essence of Jesus’s message is the setting of a lifestyle for His Disciples. His message was not aimed at changing laws, but rather a change of heart.

He begins, in Chapter six by saying they must never show off their Godly acts in public. These, He continues, saying, when they give it must be done in secret. A warning is issued here; if they make public their Godly acts, there will be no benefit for them. They must carry out these in secret and God will bless them in secret.

Likewise, in terms of prayer, these must never be a public performance, but in private. Likewise, their prayers must come from their hearts as if they were in intimate conversation with God. (when we are in conversation with one another, we do not double-talk.) The prayer pattern he gave them was only a guideline and not to be prayed repetitively. Praying as such would bring results.

Jesus enlarges the words, “…forgive us our debts..” Saying forgiving others is of critical importance. As they forgave others it would unlock the door of freedom for them.

It was a practice of the day for fasting Jews to look unkempt and painful. Jesus explains; to receive benefit from fasting, they must behave in the reverse.

He goes on by saying they must not be materialistic. Every person that dies takes nothing but relationships with them. Those that live a Godly life build up benefits in the afterlife. Jesus cautions that their heart desires will determine their rewards in the afterlife.

Jesus now reveals the importance of the fact that their eyes are the windows of their soul. (It is a scientific fact that 55% of our emotions are projected via our eyes.) Their heart condition must be Godly, in order to project Godly power from within themselves.

He warns His Disciples that they will not be able to be in an intimate relationship with God and be slaves to materialism. They must choose one or the other, no other options.

Finally, Jesus says, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ Worry is a powerfully destructive emotion; it blinds the mind to Godly thinking and peace. It blocks the release of miracles and many opportunities.

For those that are committed to living by faith, worry is a primary obstacle. I found in my life; worry was caused by listening to thoughts in my mind. I should rather believe that my Father knows what I need, and will he not provide?

Until next Sunday then.

Blessings

Peter.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

The Sermon on The Mount – Part One


Feature Photo: Adam Kring Upsplash.com

If you missed the introduction to The Sermon on The Mount please tap on this link.

Matthew 5:1-48

tap on this link for scriptures.

Let’s begin with Matthew’s opening statement, “When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them, saying…”

Jesus sees the crowds and goes up the mountain; sitting down with His Disciples, he begins to teach them. Said differently, he was addressing His disciples – the instruction was for them only.

He began to explain to them the characteristics of being a disciple of His, expounding the Beatitudes, the Salt and light of and in the world. These are the founding pillars of one who aspires to live a higher life on this earth.

He moves on to explain, he was not in any way suggesting they abandon the Mosaic Law, but rather to fulfill it, through their higher living example.

Jesus unveils the importance of relationships with their fellow humans; the effects and significance of this relationship, especially making right with others before it is too late.

He speaks about the sanctity of their marriage relationship revealing an aspect that few would realize and where the Law was not specific. In addition to this Jesus elaborates on the issue of divorce, when and when not, it is permissible.

Jesus now demonstrates the futility of making vows and states that their yes’s or no’s must mean just that, and nothing else is required.

He expands on the law of loving one’s neighbor, pointing out that loving those that love you is something everyone does, but the one who loves their enemy, this is the quality of a person who aspires to higher living. The person who is a child of God.  

The final statement Jesus makes in this chapter is, “Be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The Greek root word for perfect is ‘Teleios’ meaning ‘mature.’ Another view might be when using the English word perfect, that God is perfect and therefore the standard to follow, is not what the world considers perfect, but that which God sets. The choice is yours.

Because the Holy Spirit has been placed within us, unlike the ancients, we no longer follow a God that is outside us, but rather our God that is inside us.

We glean from this chapter in Matthew 5, that Jesus, in preparing His Disciples for their future life on Earth, established a standard by which they (and us) should all live, that others may see God in us.

Until next Sunday then.

Blessings

Peter.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

A Timeless Tale – Chapter two


Why not start at the beginning of the series?

In the times of the first five books of Moses, at the beginning of the Old Testament, God made an arrangement with His people.

Instead of the severity of the punishment, suffered by Adam and Eve, for their disobedience, God arranged for people to come to His temple in Jerusalem, once a year, bringing along with them a pair of spotless (free of any blemishes) lambs, or if they could not afford these, then two pigeons would be in order. [1]

Continue reading “A Timeless Tale – Chapter two”