Jesus fulfilled the law, not just by living it out, but by declaring it's full meaning. Jesus declared that the prohibition against murder was meant to go far deeper than just physical behaviour, but into our very attitudes. By not dwelling on anger, we would not be led to hurt anyone in anger, physically or otherwise. Reconciliation, not anger, Jesus declared to be the proper posture of His people in our broken relationships.
These verses are not just a key to understanding how to read Jesus' whole sermon, but actually are the key for how we are to read the whole of the Old Testament. Jesus claimed to be the fulfillment of the Law and Prophets. What lessons can this give us in how to read the Bible so we hear Jesus?
Jesus' call for His followers to be salt and light is not a call to just be an influence, but to have an impact. Followers of Jesus are to have an impact on those around them because King Jesus is present within every follower of His. To be an impact we need to remember who we are in Christ.
The opening statements of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount are about the type of people Jesus taught were blessed by God. The kind of people who were and would experience in fuller measure God's favour. The striking thing was then, and still is today, the kind of people Jesus said were blessed. They were all the wrong people... What does this mean for us today?
In Matthew 5-7 we find Matthew's summary of the core of Jesus' teaching. This was not just a collection of spiritual ideas, but Jesus' vision and proclamation of what the Kingdom of God was like and who it was for. Jesus had a clear vision as well of how His followers were to respond to His teaching... to put it into practice.
God has always looked to be with humanity. From the Garden of Eden through the times and lives of Abraham, David, the old testament prophets to when Jesus came God had been working and promising for an even closer relationship. Through the work of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit, Christians are a God-indwelt people. So whatever you are going through, you can know God is with you or you can surrender to Jesus and experience His presence.
During the 40 days between his resurrection and ascension, Jesus talked to his followers about the nature of His Kingdom. One key reason for this was that Jesus’ kingdom is far different in how it works than the kingdoms his followers or we today are used to. They had all sorts of wrong ideas about when it would come, who it was for, and how those within the kingdom were to live. This morning we’ll look at some of the things Jesus said about his ‘upside-down’ kingdom.
In this message, former Faith EMC pastor John Stanley calls for followers of Jesus to not settle to ‘do’ church, but to ‘be’ the church. “God has called us to the greatest thing ever… to be his representatives to a hurting world.” Being the church is not an easy road to take however. There will be disappointments, obstacles and failures. Despite this, God’s view of us never changes. We need to hold onto God’s view, so we can allow Him to do His job through us.
Peter, despite his passion for the ministry and mission of Jesus, was actively resisting that very ministry and mission. The problem was Peter’s agenda for the Messiah and Jesus’ agenda were not the same. And when our agenda is different than God’s we face the decision of resisting God or submitting to Him.
The soldiers who crucified Jesus were just doing their job. They had no idea that morning when they woke up they would be executing the Son of God. It was just another day, another execution to them. The events surrounding Jesus’ death caused them to change from mocking Jesus as the King of the Jews to hailing Him as the Son of God. How will we respond to the event of Jesus’ death for us?