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Monday, July 23, 2012

Lukes Account on the Mount

So I figured that if I was to be fair...I needed to jump to Luke and make sure I was reading this sermon correctly. So I'll just jump right in. The issues at hand is what is Jesus teaching. Is he teaching Christians how to live, or is he teaching who can be included in the Kingdom. I think Luke will make that really clear. So it seems like the prevailing view of this day is that Jesus is teaching the kingdom comes upon people in spite of their condition. I am told that I am to read verses like Luke 6:20 "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God" as teaching that even the poor can be in the kingdom of God. Verses like "Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied" as teaching that even the hungry are included in the kingdom of God. When Jesus says "Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh." He is teaching that the kingdom comes upon people in spite of these conditions and that even these people can be in the kingdom of God. While I agree that even these people can be in the kingdom, Jesus has something to say about the people who are not poor, hungry, and crying. He tells us "Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep." Luke 6:24-25 He takes time to contrast different people. He shows us a difference between poor and rich, between hungry and full. He is laboring to show us that there is a difference between the weeping and the crying. God has always been concerned with the heart. He cares what is on the inside. Our standing in the kingdom rest on one thing. It rest on being right before God. It dose not rest on bank accounts and how many boxes of tissues we have needed to dry our weeping eyes. It rest on repentance. By taking and twisting the message to certain demographics we miss the point. We take God out of it. We all of a sudden make the kingdom open to all sorts of people. We lose sight God saving sinners. That is what the message of the cross is. God saving sinners that cannot meet his standard. He shows his love towards us in spite of our sinning. And today his teaching is just as powerful to us as those who heard his message back then. And what the Jewish people listening hear? They heard utter foolishness. But to the people that he turned to speak to, to His disciples they heard wisdom. Following Christ is not something that adds to human wisdom, it completely replaces it. So why should I let my wisdom get in the way of what Jesus teaches? One last thought for you to ponder...Jesus ends in verse 47-18 with "Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built." How can you do the beatitudes if you rewrite them so that they are not something to be done? How can God do his work in us when you take away the things that he is going to do?

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