Saturday, January 17, 2009

Matthew 5:1-16

The sermon the mount is the first sermon recorded by Matthew and it begins with the word, "Blessed". It can rightly be translated, "Happy." His ambition in coming is not to make life harder, or less happy, but maximally happy. The irony of this happiness is that it comes in the opposite way that people naturally pursue it. That is evident from the first line, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Happy are those people who do not make much of themselves or feel they need to stand up for themselves, but who are gentle and humble.

Next he tells them they ARE the salt of the earth and the light of the world. This is not primarily an exhortation to behave a certain way. It is a statement of fact. It is the explanation for God's plan of lighting and preserving the world. And, then that fact must result in lights shining and salt being salty, otherwise God's program for this world is not going to work.


JoAnne said...

Thank you for these postings. I'm hoping to follow along with you all this year!

Tiff said...

Paul and I watched a movie last month that has left a lasting impression on me. “To End all Wars” is the true story of a group of Allied POWs in a Japanese work camp during WWII. One man began to encourage the others to live out turning the other cheek and loving your enemy costing the men much, but eventually having God’s intended effect. Incredible story. Let me give the warning, though, the movie was incredibly disturbing because of the content, war, angry men, brutality (Rated R). But frankly, I was most disturbed in my own thoughts about how I have missed chances to make an impact in the lives of “enemies” around me, missed chances to be “the light of the world”. Very few are asked to make this kind of a stand in the face of evil. I wonder, how would I have responded?