This Tuesday we will conclude our discussions on the Sermon on the Mount. Next week is our Thanksgiving dinner and service. Everyone (including your guests) is welcome to join us; however, I do need you to let us know if you will be joining us to make sure that we have seats for everyone. For Advent, we will spend two weeks discussing the Messianic prophesies found in Malachi. Malachi is the last Old Testament prophet both chronologically and canonically and he prophesies about the herald of the Messiah which the Gospel writers will apply to John the Baptist. December 17 is our annual Christmas party. Again, everyone and your guests are invited.
This week will be discussing Matthew 7:13-28. The Sermon on the Mount lays out for us the way of life which culminates in the Golden Rule found in Matthew 7:12. This week’s readings represent the conclusion to the Sermon on the Mount. Read these verses carefully. The Sermon lays out for us the way of Jesus that we must follow. This is the narrow gate (v.13) and the hard way (v.14). This way is concerned with the transformation of you into the image of God and is unconcerned with the recitation of certain words or obedience to certain moral precepts.
When we follow the way of Jesus we refuse to even insult someone, we turn the other cheek, we love so unconditionally that our love extends even to our enemies, we practice our religion only for the audience of our Father, we forgive others unconditionally, we fail to seek the comforts of this world, we completely and fully refuse to pass judgment on others, and all of our thoughts and our actions are guided by the rule of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. Acts tells us that the first followers of Jesus were called “The Way.” Acts 9:2. This is the way of Life. Jesus is not telling us that if we do these things we are reward with eternal life, rather he is telling us that doing this things are themselves the road to life eternal.
Another perspective on Jesus as the Way is from the Biblical word for “sin.” The word “sin” in the New Testament is the Greek word hamartia. This term literally means to “miss the mark” as in archery. Using this analogy, you are the arrow. God or your relationship with God is the bullseye. God is our perfect end (teleios). Matt. 5:48. Jesus, through the Sermon on the Mount, is the one that provides us with the correct trajectory. If we are on the way of Jesus then we will hit the mark. The wrong trajectory will miss the mark. A good discussion of this analogy is HERE and HERE.
Dinner is at 6. The menu is chicken bog. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here!
And Jesus came to the disciples and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”Matthew 28:16-20