Posts Tagged sermon on the mount
Today’s readings are:
In Genesis, we have the story of the tower of Babel. It’s short, so here it is:
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
On the surface, it might be confusing why God would not want them to be able to do anything if unified. But, it’s interesting they used man-made materials (bricks and tar) rather than natural (God-made) materials. Does this tell us something about their hearts and their motivation. They were trying to make a city and a name for themselves.
I think it’s important to note that we are able to do anything if we are unified. This is a message for the church today! But, not to make a name for ourselves, but always for the glory of God and the building of His kingdom.
In Matthew today, we have one of Jesus’ most famous sermons, the sermon on the mount. “The Sermon on the Mount is probably the best-known part of the teaching of Jesus, though arguably it is the least understood, and certainly it is the least obeyed” says author John Stott.
There’s also a good reminder for us as Christians in today’s reading. We are to be the salt and light of the earth. If we lose our “flavor”, what good are we? Let’s be salt and light today.
We’ve all probably heard and read this chapter so many times. But, it contains so much instruction from Jesus – the central tenants of Christian discipleship.
There is so much power in Jesus’ teaching in regards to helping people understand how the Old Covenant is done away with by Jesus’ coming to earth. I’m sure many chins dropped when Jesus delivered this statement:
21″You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.
Like some who profess to be Christians today, it’s easy to say, “I may not be perfect, but I do pretty good when it comes to the ‘Big 10′”. Not so much. What about this one:
27″You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
It’s clear that when we’ve broken one, we’ve sinned…period. It’s not a matter of if you’ve done more good than bad, or if you’re better than someone else. If you’re feeling pretty good about yourself because you compare yourself to anyone but Jesus, you might want to reconsider.
And, comparing ourselves to Jesus only points out that we can’t make it on our own. That’s the whole point of the New Covenant. We need the redemption of Jesus, who took on our sin at the cross and paid the penalty once and for all.
Lastly, verse 48 jumped out at me:
48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Impossible? Well, it’s a journey. None of us is perfect. The Bible is clear about that in Romans. Yet, with a soft heart, and eye always on Jesus, and a band of brothers to help keep us in line, we will be moving more towards perfection through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit inside us.