Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Sermon on the Mount

Whenever I feel like a sucker for punishment, I read the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7). To me it is singularly the most convicting passage of Scripture. What Is interesting is that this passage is spoken by Jesus not as a parable or a figure of speech, but as straightforward prose. He does not say "love your enemies" just in order for us to foster love. He commands us to love our enemies. What I found most convicting, recently, was 6:14, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." How many times have we all harbored grudges for a slight or worse, a truly malicious act. We are not talking about forgiving only fellows in the faith (although that can be difficult as well).

As many friends and family have read on this blog before, I have struggled with a desire for financial security. Recently I was laid-off and have harbored resentment for it. It certainly threw a wrench into our plans. Even as I saw God's hand in the event, I was angry over what I perceived to be a double-cross. Even so, I need to forgive my former employer and pray for him. I will even pray for his success.

So what is this passage about? What does God want from us, perfection? Yes! Matthew 5:48 says, "Be perfect, therefore, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."


Timothy L. Decker said...

Sermon on the Mount - Matt. 5-7.

Curiously, have you ever studied out the Dispo view of the sermon? If so, what are your thoughts in its primary relationship to the Messianic Kingdom?

Steven Douglas said...

Thanks Tim! I was a little tired this morning. It is, in fact, 5-7. Good eye. I have not studied the Dispo view on it, but I suppose, as it pertains to the Kingdom of heaven/God/Messiah/the eschaton, there would be a separate Dispo view. Tell me about it! Thanks again for the correction.