Tag Archives: sermon on the mount

Through Kingdom-colored Glasses

Tuesday Re-mix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and resubmitted for your consideration and comments.

I was 40 years old the first time I put on a pair of reading glasses.  I had stubbornly defied all the predictions that I would never make it out of law school without needing glasses (presumably due to all the reading law school requires…this is where some of my law school friends who read this blog will surely make some wise crack about how little reading Blake actually did in law school).  It was one evening during my 41st year when I was at my parents’ house and they noticed I was squinting as I read the paper.  Dad handed me a pair of reading glasses and my life changed right then and there.  I could not believe how much they helped!  I had a whole new outlook on life…literally.

glasses1That is what glasses are supposed to do, cause us to see differently.  Thus we have little sayings such as “She sees the world through rose-colored glasses”.  The glasses we wear have everything to do with our outlook.

I have been a Bible teacher for almost 30 years now.  Clearly, there are some books and passages in the Bible which are a sheer joy to teach and there are others which…well, let’s just say they challenge my ability to “keep it fresh”.  One of the passages I LOVE to teach is in Matthew: the sermon on the mount. I know many scholars and commentators believe this “sermon” is actually just Matthew’s compilation and summary of many lessons Jesus taught over a period of time.  I understand that theory and I am not nearly enough of a Bible scholar to debate it.  But personally,  I don’t like it.  I very much …

Are You There for the Wounded?

Tuesday Re-mix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and resubmitted for your consideration and comments.

Pretty much anybody’s interpretation of Jesus’ ministry has to agree that He was there for wounded people.  Whatever else you believe about Him and His purpose, you would be hard-pressed to argue that point.  Everywhere He went, He was helping physically, emotionally and Spiritually wounded people.  His best-documented sermon, the sermon on the mount, began with some words about wounded people…

Now when He saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him and He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven; Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted; Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth; Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled…Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven… Matthew 5:1-6, 11-12.

The fact is, Jesus looked out over a motley crowd full of hurting people who had been largely ignored by that society and told them, “I have some great news for you.  Heaven wants you, even if nobody around here seems to.”  It is a defining characteristic of Jesus: compassion and care for the wounded.

And it should be a defining characteristic of every local body of believers who claim to be following Christ…every single church, every single congregation.  A large part of being the New Testament church is looking out at our community and seeing the brokenness and trying to help.  That is a given, not really up for debate.

But …