Part two of my last sermon October 27. Cooperating with Grace.
- The Question is. Now what? How does Jesus want us to respond?
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.Matthew 6:33
- Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom
- What is the Kingdom? The Infiltration of Jesus influence over the nations. Haggai 2:7.
- Jesus tells us the first commandment is the highest priority Matthew 22:37-38
- Which is it? Jesus describes what it means to walk in these two truths with the Sermon on the Mount.
The Kingdom is most effective when
We have to refuse to abandon any of these three truths.
- His Word is obeyed – Luke 8:21, Luke 11:28, Jesus quotes the OT 78 the Apostles quote it 209.
- His Will expressed – Matthew 6:10
- His Power Displayed – 1 Thessalonians 1:5
- These 3 points are Jesus’ Long term discipleship plan for every believer.
B. John the baptist describes Jesus ministry
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, 6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”Luke 3:4-6
- John the Baptist is quoting Isaiah 40:3
- John is not describing topological changes to the terrain
- John is describing Jesus’ new testament ministry to transform the human heart.
- Jesus will raise valley’s (self hatred, depression and anxiety) lower every mountain of (pride and arrogance)
- Jesus honors Isaiah 40:3 by preaching on a plain (valley) Luke 6 and on a mountain Matthew 5,6,7.
- This message reaches the heights and depths of the human heart.
- The (beatitudes) in the SOTM transform our emotions so we love Him and people on a deeper level.
4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:4
- To understand how Jesus and John the baptist preach and what Jesus wants us broken free from you have to go back about 600yrs.
C. Babylonian Siege
- To understand Jesus and John the baptists ministry on earth we actually need to go back 600yrs BC
- Seige of Babylon in 586BC , Habakkuk 1:6; Joel 2:1-11; Leviticus 26
- This information sets the stage for how Jesus and John the Baptist minister
23 Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, 24 because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers’ idols. Ezekiel 20:23-24
- Final prophets Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
- Jerusalem under rule by Persians, Greeks, Macabbean Revolt and then Rome
- From Malachi to Matthew approximately 500 yrs.
- No known prophets bringing word of the Lord.
- legalism and religious leaders become more corrupt in this time. No Prophets.
- 613 commandments in the Old Testament Civil, Moral, Ceremonial
- In comparison we have 15,000 to 50,000 Federal laws
- Because of 70 yrs of captivity the pharisees put an emphasis on the Oral law.
- Talmud and mishnah combined 6 Orders, under the 6 orders, each order contains 7-12 Tractates. Each tractate contains multiple chapters.
- They believed this would prevent them from going into exile again.
- The idea is to create”hedge laws” that would prevent society from breaking the laws found in the torah.
“You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you”Deuteronomy 4:2
- After 500 with no prophet, 2 radical prophets appear on the scene. John the Baptist and Jesus.
- Jesus and John are in opposition to the oral law and the Jewish way of life because it is oppressive.
D. Traditions of the Elders/Oral Law/Traditions of Men
- A Fundamental understanding of the oral law is key to understanding the gospels.
- Jesus “breaks” the sabbath?
5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?”
6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
(Jesus Quotes Isaiah Isaiah 29:13)Mark 7:5-9 ESV
“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 7 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!
4 They (Pharisees) crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.Matthew 23:4 NLT
The confusing thing about the Life of Jesus
- His rejection of the Religious leaders (mistaken for rebelling against the laws of Moses)
- Jesus opposed the Traditions of the Elders not the Torah Law.
Jesus breaks the sabbath?
- Mark 7:1-3 Eating with unclean hands
- Matthew 12, Mark 3 Healing the withered hand
- John 5 Jesus heals at the pool of Bethesda
- John 9 Jesus heals the blind man with dirt and spit
- Mark 2 Picking grain in the grain fields
- Penalty for breaking the sabbath? Death or Excommunicated! Numbers 15:32-36
Why is this important?
- Exile becomes a symbol of the way life is. Though life is full of Gods goodness it is also full of pain and hurt.
- We try to build walls of protection to prevent us from falling into unfavorable circumstances again. We then have to create systems to keep the walls of protection in place.
- Jesus warns us that when storms come, not if they come.
- When we respond with our flesh we build walls of self preservation.
- We protect ourselves from relationships, circumstances so we wont experience or have to relive the pain of our history.
- A hedge of protection and self preservation.
- Jesus wants to teach us how to deal with life’s Exiles (storms) without loosing our emotion stability. Depression, Anxiety, Self Hatred and un-forgivness with 8 life virtues.
- Many in the Body of Christ think that there is a different strategy for their emotional freedom. There is only one strategy. There isn’t another one.
E. Quotes on Sermon on the Mount
Certainly these are great words, words lifted to cosmic proportions. And over the centuries, many persons have argued that this is an extremely difficult command. Many would go so far as to say that it just isn’t possible to move out into the actual practice of this glorious command. They would go on to say that this is just additional proof that Jesus was an impractical idealist who never quite came down to earth. So the arguments abound. But far from being an impractical idealist, Jesus has become the practical realist. The words of this text glitter in our eyes with a new urgency. Far from being the pious injunction of a utopian dreamer, this command is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. Yes, it is love that will save our world and our civilization, love even for enemies.-Martin Luther King Jr. November 1957
“Humanly speaking, we could understand and interpret the Sermon on the Mount in a thousand different ways. Jesus knows only one possibility: simple surrender and obedience, not interpreting it or applying it, but doing and obeying it.”—Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“The Sermon on the Mount is not a statement to be treated in cavalier fashion– by saying that this or that isn’t right or that here we find an inconsistency. Its validity depends on it being obeyed. This is not a statement we freely choose to take or leave.”
F. The Beatitudes
- Jesus wants to create a family culture with no walls.
- Jesus wants to create a family culture with no emotional hedges of protection. (Unforgivness/Space)
- Jesus wants the 8 beatitudes to be the highest values of the church.
- Jesus wants us to lay down our personal philosophies, strategies, doctrines and theologies.
- Jesus wants us us to pick up his strategy called the narrow way of the 8 beatitudes.
The Holy spirit is always leading us to the 8 beatitudes.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 5:3-10
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven..
G. Implications of the Beatitudes
- Jesus follows up the beatitudes by stating if we embrace these 8 things we will become salt and light Matthew 5:13-14
Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19
The six negatives to reject are in Matthew 5
1. Anger (5:21-26) criticism and murder 2. Immorality (5:27-30) 3.Disregarding the sanctity of marriage (5:31-32) 4.Not keeping our commitments(5:33-37) 5.Retaliating (5:38-42) self defense, enemies etc 6.Being passive in our love to our enemies (5:43-47).
The Five positives are to embrace in Matthew 6
serve 2. give charitable deeds: giving service and/or money, (6:1-4, 19-21) 3. life of prayer (6:5-13) 4. bless our adversaries (fullness of forgiveness, 6:14-15; 5:44) 6. fasting (6:16-18).