04 January 2011

Matthew 5-7

The Sermon on the Mount provides Christians with many of the most well-known verses in all of the Gospels. In these three chapters Jesus speaks on adultery, divorce, loving enemies, giving to the needy, prayer, fasting, treasures in heaven, worrying, judging others, getting into heaven, and quite a few other topics.

Since there is so much content, I'll focus on just two passages (giving the rest of you an opportunity to chime in on the sections that stood out for you):
1) The Beatitudes (5.3-10)
2) the closing two verses of chapter seven (7.28-29)

The Beatitudes
Jesus spells out the groups of people whom he calls "blessed" and what their rewards for that blessing will be. The people Jesus mentions in the Beatitudes are not the people who would often find themselves in seats of power, positions of authority, or with a great deal of influence within their community. The people Jesus calls blessed are not called blessed by the majority of society. They are the overlooked and the stepped-on.

In short, they are not the people we expect to be blessed, but Jesus rarely does what we expect.

The Closing Verses
As Jesus finishes three chapters of teaching, the crowds are "amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law." The crowds sat slack-jawed wondering who this guy was who just taught them about life in community and living to a totally different standard. He was not the typical rabbi because he taught with "authority" - more so than other rabbis, scribes, and Pharisees of the day.

I wonder how many rabbis, scribes, and Pharisees who were there that day would have taken objection to the thoughts of the crowd?

What verse(s) stuck out the most to you in Matthew 5-7?


Debbie Crutcher said...

I'm reminded of the children's song "The wise man builds his house upon the rock." Were you ever at the beach after a hurricane or even a minor storm? Sand is displaced at the very foundations of the buildings. Debris and floodwater are everywhere. The beautiful beach has changed. But unless it is a category 5 storm, the well-anchored buildings, with pilings driven down into the rock, are still standing. They can be repaired and are often rebuilt to be even stronger than original. It isn't long until the beach recovers and is beautiful again. How like our lives! If our foundation is Jesus Christ, we can withstand the storms of life also. Even come through them a stronger, more committed Christian.

Rev_DeanL said...

Well said, Debbie!