The Sermon on The Mount
What does Jesus do when confronted with a unique request from an unlikely source? This portion of Matthew marks one of only two times in the Gospels that Jesus is ever described at “astonished” or “amazed” at something. This passage also contains several other unique features which serve to show us more fully why Jesus came and what He hoped to accomplish on this earth.
We are told by the Gospel writer Matthew that the crowds were amazed at Jesus and specifically intrigued by His authority. What type of authority did Jesus have? How did He show it? Directly after expressing his authority in His teaching, Jesus shows His authority in his acts of power over disease as well as His authority over nature. But these miracles are more than mere wonders, they point to something beyond themselves.
Jesus ends the Sermon on the Mount by speaking of the foundation or the fundamental guiding principle of a person’s life. He says there are only two such foundations. One will not stand in the short-term or long-term but the other will stand forever. This strong warning applies to all people, but will they consider these important words of Jesus?
What are the marks that distinguish a true Christian and a false Christian? How can a person know if another’s claim to be a Christian is genuine? Jesus speaks to these issues and warns his followers that they should expect both false teachers and false disciples. If Jesus made such a point to make his disciples aware of this issue, surely anyone who claims to follow Jesus must take care to fully understand what Jesus says in such a confronting…
Many think of Jesus as an accepting figure who loved everyone and was especially nice. But what did Jesus actually teach about the way to find God and to have our sins forgiven? In this passage, Jesus uses two illustrations; two gates and two trees. What do these illustrations teach us about Jesus’ purpose and message and how should we respond today?
There is much uncertainty in the world today and many are not sure where to turn to for help. For the Christian, Jesus says that they can boldly approach God as their heavenly Father to ask for help at any time. But only the Christian can approach God as Father. How does a person get to that position and what are the implications? We consider these questions and more as we unpack Jesus’ meaning of “ask and receive”.
How is a Christian to act toward others and particularly toward other Christians? This passage is perhaps one of the most misunderstood passages in the entire Bible. Many people are familiar with the words of Jesus “Judge Not” even if they are not aware where those words came from. But what did Jesus mean by telling His followers not to judge? The answer is more wonderful and insightful than you might guess.
Someone has said that the problem of anxiety is primarily a 1st world issue. But do only those in the developed world struggle with this problem? Do you need to be rich to struggle with anxiety? Jesus was speaking to those whom would be poor by today’s standards, but apparently they too were often anxious. But Jesus gives a cure for anxiety and worry for those who follow Him.
We hear a many pieces of investment advice today. Many people wonder if the best investments are in the markets, property or some combination of several options. But what investment advice does Jesus give? What if you could find an advisor whose advice was always correct and who had never lost a single dollar in any financial pursuit? Jesus claims to be just such an advisor and He tells all those who will listen where the best investment return can…
What is fasting? Does Jesus expect Christians too fast today? Many Christians do not know what to do with fasting. Perhaps they have never known someone who has fasted or they do not understand the purpose of it. Others question whether it is something that people today are supposed to practice or if it was simply something the Jewish people were expected to do. In this passage, Jesus speaks to the wrongs and rights of fasting as we consider this…