The world has never seen or known of a teacher like Jesus Christ. His wisdom and knowledge is beyond anything we could imagine. Virtually, from His childhood, Jesus astonished even the wisest and most knowledgable of people. Luke 2:46-47, John 7:46. The multitudes flocked to hear Him speak because He spoke with authority. They wanted to hear just a word from this promised Messiah. So that tells us today there is nothing more important than studying the words of Christ. His wisdom, tolerance, love, and compassion, mercy, righteousness and unwavering truth are desperately needed in this dark world and especially in the church. Christ demands of His disciples that we lead by example, that we love without fail, that we forgive without vengeance, that we show patience and humility and mercy beyond measure and the reason for these demands is quite simple. This is how God in Christ, has first treated us! Matthew 5 starts the sermon on the mount. Christ famous sermon that is a revelation of the true nature of the kingdom of God. And it tells us the righteous standards required of its citizens. It is a message directed at the transformation and salvation of those who would receive it with humble and honest hearts. So as we open our hearts to receive maybe we too can be changed through the next few blogs. The tradition of the Pharisees had become one of doctrines of men. The peoples expectation for Christ’s eternal kingdom was polluted with ideals about wealth, power and restoration of the glory of Israel. This sermon is to bring out the misconceptions and to reveal the true nature of God’s kingdom and it’s citizens. Honestly in the worlds eyes the ideas expressed are radically and absolutely different than the world’s ideas of happiness and success and that’s because God wants and has always wanted a special and peculiar people who will proclaim His standards of righteousness and not the world’s ideals of success. 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1; 1 Peter 2: 9-10. The sermon on the mount runs from Matthew chapter 5 to chapter 7, with chapter 5 verses 3-12 containing what is called the beatitudes. That is what we will look at first. So think about some qualities that would distinguish a prominent earthly kingdom from society’s viewpoint? As we read trough the beatitudes we see what the world’s views so vital to success and happiness missing. Things like wealth, fame, power, worldly wisdom and pleasure and others like them are completely absent from Christ lists. To some it is a shock that the priorities, characteristics and behaviors that Jesus promotes are so radically different. But as disciples we are called to be radically different than the rest of the world by our love. Self-Sacrificial Love.
Don’t wait for other people to be loving, giving, compassionate, grateful, forgiving, generous, or friendly… lead the way. Steve Maraboli