|Volume 24 Number 5 May 2022
Jesus preached a long sermon, which is recorded in Matthew 5 through Matthew 7. It is known as the Sermon on the Mount. He had been preaching the Gospel of the kingdom and had been healing all manner of diseases.
Large crowds were following Jesus as His fame spread throughout Galilee and Judea. He was even known on the other side of the Jordan. People were amazed at His teaching. At the end of this sermon, we are told that the people were astonished at His teachings because He taught as someone having authority, not like a scribe. Scribes always prefaced their teachings with the words that a certain Rabbi taught what they were about to speak. Jesus never referenced a Rabbi but instead said, “I say,” several times.
Jesus also referenced the Father several times in this sermon. God is called Father over fifteen times in the Sermon on the Mount – once as “our Father” in 6:9 when giving the model prayer, five times as “thy Father” in verses 5:4, 6, 18 and ten times as “your Father” 5:16, 45, 48; 6:1, 8, 14-15, 26, 32; 7:11.
Matthew 7:21 is the only time that Jesus referenced “my Father,” and it is the last reference in the sermon to the Father. In context, Jesus said that no one will get into Heaven by stating that he is a disciple of Jesus. Jesus stated that it is necessary to do the will of “my Father.” He made several points with that statement. He wanted people present to know that He was preaching His Father’s will. He wanted them to know that He is intimate with His Father. He wanted them to know that obedience is necessary, and Jesus wanted His auditors to know that He is personally related to God, the Father, their God.
I am so glad that the Father sent His Son to earth. I am so glad that Jesus was willing to live and to die for us. I know you want to obey Jesus and His Father. Study your Bible and learn what is necessary to obey Them.
I love the spring of the year. It’s like the world is waking up from a long winter’s nap, and in some ways it is. Those winter days can sometimes be cold and dark, and everything kind of seems gray and dull. However, with springtime, we often get to feel that pleasant warmth provided by the sun, and we get to see those beautiful, bold colors provided by the blooming flowers, the trees and the rest of God’s beautiful creation. In the springtime, the world wakes up, and new life appears all around us. This reminds me of the new life that we can have in Christ Jesus.
How many times have you heard people talking about searching for purpose or meaning in life? How many times have you heard somebody say they wished they could start over as they thought about all the things they did in their lives? People struggle with things like that, and if we will only look to God, we can find the answers.
According to Ecclesiastes 12:13, our purpose here is to “fear God and keep His commandments.” This is to be mankind’s all. Yet, mankind has not always chosen to serve God. Since the first man and the first woman, people have sinned. In fact, we “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We sin when we are “lured and enticed” by our own desires (James 1:14). We have made those choices, and because of our sins, the “wages” or what is deserved because of our sins is death (Romans 6:23). However, thanks be to God because He has offered us the way to have new life. We see this gift in Romans 6:23 in that the “gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It is all in Jesus. How, though, do we get into Jesus? In Acts 2:38 Peter said, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…” We see in other supporting texts that we are baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:27). In Romans 6:3-4, we see that when we are baptized, we are baptized into His death. We are buried with Him in baptism, and we are to rise to walk in newness of life. In order for any of us to have that new life, we have to turn to God, follow His commands, have our sins washed away and walk daily in the new life for Him. In Christ, we have salvation, we have the church and we have every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3). Let us all seek to have that new life in Jesus Christ and live it out every day.