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Friday: Further Thought ~ More Lessons from the Master Teacher — 10 Comments

  1. What did Jesus teach in the sermon on the mount?
    Here is the “Exam prep summary” version:

    1. He gives us 9 occasions to be happy together with reasons for being happy. Mat 5:3-12
    2. He encourages us to be influencers using light and salt as examples Mat 5:13-16
    3. He explains what is meant by fulfilling the law. And surprise, surprise, it has nothing to do with nullifying the law. Mat 5:17-20
    4. He illustrates what he means by discussing, murder/hate, and adultery-divorce/lust, pointing out that the seed for sin lie a long way below the surface before they blossom into sinful actions. Mat 5:21-32
    5. He counselled against taking oaths. Mat 5:33-37
    6. He counters the prevailing notion of justice, an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth, with the new idea of turning your cheek and going the second mile. Mat 5: 38-42
    7. He radically suggests that we need to love our enemies. Mat 5:43-48
    8. He warns against religious “show”, counselling that our giving should be in secret and our prayers be private between us and God. He demonstrated by giving an example of a prayer that covers the most important aspects of our prayer life.Mat 6:1-14
    9. Continuing in the same vein he denounces fasting for show and suggested fasting is something between you and God. Mat 6:16-18
    10. He encourages us to understand values and to put our treasure in Heaven. Mat 6:19-24
    11. He wants us to have peace of mind and not worry about food and clothing, or the future. Mat 6:25-34
    12. He asks us not to be judgemental because in judging others we often judge ourselves. Mat 7:1-6
    13. He encourages us to explore; ask, seek, and knock because our heavenly father is willing to give us good gifts. Mat 7:7-12
    14. He warns us of narrow and wide gates and follows that with an example of true and false prophets (leaders). Mat 7:13-20
    15. He reminds us that not everyone that is religious is right and that many are there for the reward and not the service. Mat 7:21-23
    16. He finishes with a story about building, showing that the foundation on which you build is very important. Mat 7:24-27

    Hopefully, some of us will take the time to read the original and see what I left out! This is the curriculum of the Gospel.

    • Maurice- can you give the texts in the chapter to each of your letters that denotes what you are saying because what you are saying I dont see same.

      I like # 2 question. Is our christian life so personal that no one knows anything.

      # 'Is the question of where you are on life’s journey purely personal.'

      • Hi Lyn, the Sermon on the Mount starts from Mt 5:1 where Jesus goes up the mountain and ends in Mt 8:1, where He comes down, I think you will find all Maurice's point in those chapters, enjoy the search.

  2. Just recently it struck me how often Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is like ..., mostly in Matthew.
    He started His ministry with the proclamation: Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand
    Why did Jesus spend so much of His teaching explaining what the kingdom of heaven was like - in the sermon on the mount and in most of His parables? Could it be because the people had the wrong idea? Matthew's main reason for writing his gospel was to point out that Jesus was the promised Messiah and so naturally that included the nature of His kingdom.
    What does this teaching of Jesus' kingdom mean for me, and you?
    Could this be a way for us to share the Good News?
    How important is the opening of the LORD's prayer?

    Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven

    Food for thought!

    • Somewhere in my collection of College assignments which I did over 50 years ago is a paper on the Kingdom Parables I wrote for a theology class. The thing I remember most about the paper was how much of the parables were directed to the Kindom of Heaven now, rather than just something in the future. I must see if I can find the paper again.

      • Yes. Thanks, Maurice. I believe we often look forward to the Kingdom some time in the future, forgetting that we enter into the Kingdom *now.*
        If we don't enter the Kingdom now and allow Jesus to develop His Kingdom principles (consult the Sermon on the Mount) within us, there is no future time to enter the Kingdom. Trusting Jesus and obeying Him is Kingdom behavior.

        • Yes, in Jesus' day the Jews were looking for a King to rescue them from the Roman Empire, Jesus was revealing that He came to rescue us from being ruled by our self centered nature to a caring, pure nature like His, to restore the relationship between us and the Father in this life first and eventually in the earth made new.

          13 He (the Father) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption,the forgiveness of sins.Colossians 1:13-14
          But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.Mat 6:33

          • Further thoughts/confirmation from the pen of inspiration.

            “Christ disappointed the hope of worldly greatness. In the Sermon on the Mount He sought to undo the work that had been wrought by false education, and to give His hearers a right conception of His kingdom and of His own character. Yet He did not make a direct attack on the errors of the people. He saw the misery of the world on account of sin, yet He did not present before them a vivid delineation of their wretchedness. He taught them of something infinitely better than they had known. Without combating their ideas of the kingdom of God, He told them the conditions of entrance therein, leaving them to draw their own conclusions as to its nature. The truths He taught are no less important to us than to the multitude that followed Him. We no less than they need to learn the foundation principles of the kingdom of God.” — Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 299.

  3. The Sermon on the Mount is one of my favorit teachings because it is applicable to life here and now. I was glad when I learned about it, though it was a difficult learning process for it to become accepted as the *norm*. Receiving clear instructions/insights into what my life as a Christian ought to look like made it much easier to live. It never occurred to me that it might 'only' depict what living in ‘Heaven’ lookes like; if anything, it depicts living in the heavenly Kingdom of God here on earth because it was given 'so we can experience true life' - Luke17:20,21KJV.
    It is clear to me that, since Jesus Christ established God's spiritual Kingdom here on earth, we, the living believers, would desire to live according to these principles and precepts as citizens in His spiritual Kingdom – after all, He is the King of this spirit-based Kingdom.

    Spiritual ultimately means practical, because no inspiration given to the living is meant to stay in the heart or mind; it is given so we can truly live! Luke 9:60KJV told me a lot about who is alive and who is dead. I am sure that after our resurrection we continue living by the same principles and precepts which, in my opinion, are applicable throughout the inhabited Universe.

    Living as citizens in Jesus’ spiritual Kingdom means we express what the Holy Spirit has revealed to us to be the right Way to live. Yes, we are surrounded by a physical world, but our true live, our individual lives as well as our communal lives is in the world were the Holy Spirit governs our affairs - conceived in the heart and expressed through the use of our heart, mind and body.
    All living is governed by spirit, it just depends which spirit man is governed by – the spirit of this world or the Spirit of God which ultimately governs Heaven, earth and the rest of His Creation. After we know this, why would we not want to gratefully live by His Spirit’s teachings?

    Ellen White's quote: “we long to bear His image, breathe His spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things” is quite 'natural' to all who love God with all their heart and being. When He reigns in our heart, He gives us His intent and motivation, forming so our purpose for living which is based on His Love and Compassion – it is our delight to live according to His will and we could do no other!


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