“The Sermon on the Mount isn’t just about how to behave. It’s about discovering the living God in the loving, and dying, Jesus, and learning to reflect that love ourselves into the world that needs it so badly.” –Tom Wright
It’s true, isn’t it, that our world (workmates, school mates, neighbours, families) badly needs the love of Jesus. As I walk (or sometimes jog!) the streets of Williamstown, I often pray, “Jesus, may your love, your name, your grace be known in these streets! Jesus, would you make yourself known; reveal yourself to these people, these shopkeepers, these workers, this community that so needs you!
As we explore the Sermon on the Mount together as a church community, my prayer is that we would meet Jesus afresh and as we encounter him, that we would be transformed and changed to become more like Him, reflecting his love for the sake of the world!
Sometimes when people read the Sermon on the Mount they become overwhelmed, seeing the Sermon as a big list of requirements or expectations, which we can never satisfy! But we know God doesn’t call us to follow a set of rules—he calls us to follow Him! Jesus doesn’t say, follow my rulebook!! He says, “Follow Me!”
So the Sermon on the Mount, then, shouldn’t be read as a new “law” or unattainable moral code that God forces us to follow.
We should read the Sermon as a description of what our lives will start to look like as we follow Jesus, as we gather around Jesus, as we ‘surrender our agenda’ to Jesus, as we start to say (as I preached on last week) “Jesus, I know I really need you”.
The Sermon on the Mount shows us what looks like to live as people who are fully committed to following Jesus, living in his grace and power, and choosing to follow the “Jesus way of life”, life in the kingdom.
This Sunday Tex is preaching on the second half of the Beatitudes. As we hear the message God is going to speak through Tex, let us be open to meeting Jesus again for the first time, and may we respond with our whole lives!