Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 44

Thread: Why The Sermon on the Mount?

  1. #1
    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Corryton
    Faith
    Trinitarian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,671
    Amen (Given)
    296
    Amen (Received)
    3101

    Why The Sermon on the Mount?

    What is the point of this message?

    Link

    ------

    What is the point of the sermon? Letís plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    When looking at eschatology in the Gospels, one of the main points to establish is really the kingship of Jesus. For that now, we start a look at the Sermon on the Mount. Many of us look at the sermon and see a great list of ethical principles. It is that, but it is so much more.

    We are in an election year and so this year, our candidates for whatever office will be going around stating what things are going to be like if they win their election. Jesus is doing the same kind of thing in this sermon. He is not just telling people how to live. He is telling them what matters most in the Kingdom of God and how you are to live in the Kingdom.

    The sermon ends with the people being amazed because Jesus spoke with authority. How? He is a king and He is speaking as a king and He is laying down the law. This is quite literal. Throughout the sermon, Jesus is doing something radical. He is speaking on the Law and declaring what is really going to happen.

    Whatís so amazing about that? Didnít the rabbis speak on the Law? Yes, but they always pointed to another authority. Jesus doesnít do that. Jesus is basically getting up and saying ďIím in charge and I donít need anyone else to back what I say.Ē He speaks from His own position and authority.

    Itís so startling that a Jewish scholar like Jacob Neusner looked at it once and said, ďWho do you think you are? God?Ē Well, yes. He did. He thought He alone had the authority to speak this way.

    Jesusís Kingdom is a reversal of what most kings would give. This is not about how to build up the best army to go after Rome. If anything, the only time Rome is spoken of, it is of how one can better serve a Roman soldier or how one should retaliate from an insult from a Roman soldier or any demand from such a soldier. This is not what you expect from your Messiah.

    Furthermore, if you seek to follow the ethical principles, you are falling short if you do not follow the king who gave them. As Lewis said, Jesus is not just coming claiming to be a good moral teacher. Heís claiming to be the King of all. Besides, as Lewis said, we have had a penchant of not listening to our moral teachers and if Jesus was the best one, all the more reason for us to not listen to Him.

    So over the next few days, I plan to look over the sermon and see it from a kingly perspective. I hope youíll join me.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

  2. Amen KingsGambit amen'd this post.
  3. #2
    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Triangle
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    11,446
    Amen (Given)
    1873
    Amen (Received)
    4998
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

  4. #3
    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Corryton
    Faith
    Trinitarian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,671
    Amen (Given)
    296
    Amen (Received)
    3101
    Who is giving the sermon?

    Link

    ------

    Who is it that is giving this sermon? Letís plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    In looking at eschatology in the Gospels, one thing to establish is Jesusís view of Himself as the king of Israel and yet also as the priest of Israel. I said last time that we would be looking at the Sermon on the Mount. Today, I am going to really start off by looking at that sermon.

    Now the question of who gave it sounds like a no-brainer. Jesus gave it. If thatís all weíre really asking by the question, then this blog is pretty much done. The question though is more how did the person who gave it see Himself and also how is Matthew presenting Him?

    Matthew constantly presents Jesus in a style that is very Jewish. His book is laid out in a fivefold format much like the Pentateuch would have been seen in. Itís split between teaching and acting. At the start, we have Jesus going to John the Baptist to be baptized going under the water. After going through the water, He enters the wilderness for 40 days and nights to be tempted.

    Does this sound like any story a Jew would know? Definitely. It sounds like Israel passing through the waters of the Red Sea (In a miraculous way, of course) and then going into the wilderness where they were tempted for forty years. What comes in all of that? The giving of the Law. Lo and behold, what do we find in chapter five?

    Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

    2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

    It might seem like a given to say He opened His mouth to teach them. What else is He going to do? Sign language? However, Matthew chose to point this out for a reason. What is that? To make us think about the Law coming from the mouth of YHWH in the Old Testament.

    Jesus then gets up and He starts expounding the Law. He starts explaining what is meant by it. We can say this is consistent with Jesus because one thing historical Jesus scholars note about Him is that He never really pointed to anyone elseís authority aside from God Himself. Jesus did not need to address any other rabbis. If all you had was the Gospels, you wouldnít even know other rabbis existed.

    Jesus is treading on sacred ground. He is handling the Law and saying that He alone has the authority. He alone can go up on the mountain and deliver the law to the people. He is the new Moses leading His people. He is the new priest. He is the new king.

    He will also speak as what He says has divine authority and if He really thinks that, then how does He see Himself? You could say that any prophet in the Old Testament would do the same, but Jesus never goes ďThus sayeth the Lord.Ē He says quite the opposite. He says ďYou have heard it was saidÖ., but I say to you.Ē The prophets didnít speak like that.

    So as we go through the sermon, letís remember this is the priest telling us how to live and this is the king looking at His subjects saying this is how my reign is going to be. What will it be like? Looking at the sermon in future installments will tell us.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

  5. #4
    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Corryton
    Faith
    Trinitarian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,671
    Amen (Given)
    296
    Amen (Received)
    3101
    Who is blessed in the Kingdom?

    Link

    ------

    Who is blessed in the Sermon on the Mount? Letís plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Eschatology has brought us to looking at Jesus as king in the Gospels starting with Matthew and weíre looking at the Sermon on the Mount. If Jesus is stating His role in this sermon as laying down a new way of living, then who is it that He is going to include? The fascinating idea here is that Jesus goes for the ones that society rejects.

    Thereís a funny little saying that speaks of Godís choice in the Jewish people and says, ďHow odd of God to choose the Jews.Ē It goes on to say, ďBut odder still are those who reject whom God chose.Ē In choosing the Jewish people, God did not choose a grand and prestigious people. He chose an old man who while rich did not have an heir and through him began His plan.

    Like Father, like Son. When Jesus goes through and announces His citizens in the Kingdom, He picks the ones that are rejected. The rich and elite are not mentioned in this list. The Pharisees and Sadducees are left out. Jesus welcomes the ones that are even outcasts in Israel.

    We see this in His life in the Gospels. Who does Jesus choose to hang out with? Prostitutes and tax collectors. Most of his apostles are fishermen and other common men including one of those tax collectors. We donít know of any of them being part of the elite.

    Actually, all of these people will also get what they want. Are you mourning? Youíre going to be comforted. Are you hungering and thirsting for righteousness? Youíre going to get it. Are you one of the downtrodden, the meek? Youíre going to get the whole world.

    This is a major contrast to the Roman Empire of the time who would want the best of the best in their kingdom. Paulís commander who had him flogged said he paid a lot of money for his citizenship. The Roman Empire didnít take being a citizen lightly. You had to show you had earned it. In Jesusís kingdom, itís those who know they have not earned it who are the most worthy.

    Think youíre not good enough for the kingdom? Youíre right. Youíre not. Jesus welcomes you into the kingdom if you come to Him. You donít have to really do anything to enter the kingdom except acknowledge that Jesus alone can get you into it and come to Him for that.

    This part does culminate in persecution. I want to save that for another time. It requires its own focus, but for now, I simply want us to remember that God has a habit of picking those who the world rejects. He hasnít changed.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

  6. #5
    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Corryton
    Faith
    Trinitarian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,671
    Amen (Given)
    296
    Amen (Received)
    3101
    What about persecution?

    Link

    -----

    What does it mean to be persecuted? Letís plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    I wanted to save these verses in the Sermon for further looking. In these, Jesus talks about persecution, so letís look at them.

    11 ďBlessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    So many Christians I meet today too quickly throw out the word persecution. The insulting and saying things falsely can fit today, but persecution is something much more severe. Much of what we call persecution today does a disservice to those people who really are persecuted.

    There are many countries today in the world where becoming a Christian is putting your life on the line. Think of places like Muslim countries or countries with a bent towards Communism, like China. If you become a Christian in those countries, you are putting a big bullseye on you.

    Persecution is not someone making fun of you for being a Christian alone. That is not sufficient. Itís also not persecution if people donít like you for other reasons, such as the manner in which you present the gospel. If you come across as a rude jerk and thatís not liked by some people, that does not equal persecution.

    Now we are getting into this some, such as the florists and the cake makers who are not allowed to live out their conscience in their own personal businesses. I personally anticipate this country is going to become more and more anti-Christian if the tide is not turned around soon. However, we are nowhere near the level of a Muslim or a Communist country yet.

    For people in those countries, we definitely need to offer our prayer and support and we need to consider if we take Jesus as seriously as they do. If your child goes down and kneels at the altar and accepts Jesus as their Lord and savior, youíre likely to go on Facebook and share the good news. Would you do the same in one of those countries if it meant that your child could become a target of the government for doing such? Probably not.

    Do we take Jesus as seriously? Do we need to get to the point of persecution to do such? Iím one who thinks it could do the church good to get some persecution for what we do. We would get to see whoís serious about Christianity and who isnít. Itís easy to state youíre a Christian when no one has a gun pointing at your head. Itís not so easy when they donít.

    Right now, we have it good if we live in America comparatively speaking. The question is what are we doing with it? Imagine if the apostle Paul had the access to all that we have today. What would he be doing with it? By contrast, what are we doing with it?

    In many countries, people are willing to die for the gospel, which is excellent. We need that willingness. In this country, we donít have that yet, at least not on a mass scale. So now, letís ask ourselves a different question and this is one thatís actually much harder to ask than ďAre you willing to die for Jesus?Ē

    ďAre you willing to live for Jesus?Ē

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

  7. Amen Christianbookworm amen'd this post.
  8. #6
    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Corryton
    Faith
    Trinitarian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,671
    Amen (Given)
    296
    Amen (Received)
    3101
    Are we salt and light?

    Link

    -------

    What does it mean to be salt and light? Letís plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    As we continue looking at the sermon, we come to the account of salt and light. Both of these are things that stand out and enhance something. I still remember as a kid going to McDonaldís and getting the fries and going crazy with salt on them. Itís still a great treat to have. As for light, in our age we have more access to light in a way. After all, how many of us when weíre walking through our homes at night or outside at night pull out our phones and turn on the flashlight feature?

    If a ship is out at sea and the crew is wondering where to go at night, a lighthouse can be seen from 20 miles away if its light is on. That can give great hope to those out at sea. Just a sliver of light can make a difference. Light is a way of representing hope.

    And Jesus tells us weíre to be like salt and light.

    Unless you have some dietary restriction, most of us like some salt on certain foods of ours. If I fix fillets at night, I put salt and pepper on them. Fix a pizza? Not at all. French fries without salt though seems unthinkable.

    Light is specifically meant to be seen. Thatís why weíre compared to a city on a hill. Many of us think that we should hide our good deeds. Now, we certainly shouldnít do something to be seen, but that doesnít mean we hide away and avoid doing good deeds. We need to do them and then in line with a proper interpretation of 1 Peter 3:15, explain that we do good deeds because of the example of Jesus.

    Notably, Jesus says to do these things so people will praise your Father in Heaven. Those who do this are children of God. They are part of the Kingdom. They have not earned it. They have instead demonstrated where their loyalty lies.

    Jesusís call for citizens of the Kingdom is to go out and do something. Be an enhancement in society, as salt is on food. Be a beacon of hope, as light is in the world. Make the world a better place by your devotion to Christ. With all that is going on now, and as I type this there are riots going on over George Floyd, we need that indeed.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

  9. #7
    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Corryton
    Faith
    Trinitarian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,671
    Amen (Given)
    296
    Amen (Received)
    3101
    What does it mean to fulfill the Law?

    Link

    -----

    What did Jesus mean when He said He came to fulfill the Law? Letís plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    This is one of the most debated passages really. It leads to debates about the view of the Law in the Old Testament and its place in the life of Christians today. Letís look at the verses. Itís Matthew 5:17-18.

    ďDo not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.Ē

    Okay. Well did Jesus abolish the Law for us? One thing to keep in mind is that Gentiles were NEVER under the Law to begin with. This was a debate in Acts 15 and yet these words of Jesus were never brought up.

    Okay, but what about Jews? Jews were under the Law and yet Paul and Peter both apparently lived like Gentiles at times at least. Why would they do that?

    This gets us to the idea of the fulfillment of the Law. Jesus is not doing away with the Law. He is fulfilling what God really wanted. God really wanted righteousness in His people. The Law could change their outward behavior and while that can change hearts eventually, that normally doesnít last long term. What is needed is a heart change.

    This is what Jesus came to bring about. What He is describing in His kingdom is what happens when that heart change takes place. When we see the Kingdom coming, we will see more than just outward motions. Jesusís commands in the sermon constantly talk about the status of the heart over the actions.

    Jesus fulfilled the Law in that He met its righteous requirements. That doesnít mean the Law is useless to us today. We see the nature of God revealed in the Law and there are still moral principles in the Law most everyone holds to today. Most of us do agree that you should not steal or you should not murder, for example.

    In future entries, we will look at the righteousness that is demanded in the Kingdom. It wonít be my favorite part to look at either. We all fall short.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

  10. #8
    tWebber Starlight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    New Zealand
    Faith
    Atheist
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    9,891
    Amen (Given)
    2856
    Amen (Received)
    1928
    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    ďDo not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.Ē
    A decade or so ago when I did a thorough analysis of Jesus's teachings in the gospels, this passage stood out to be as being by far the most inconsistent with the rest. All of the rest of Jesus's teachings in the gospels are consistent with a social reformer who is rejecting the ritual purity requirements of the Law and is focusing on the morality of helping those in need. It actually surprised me how much close to everything was consistent with that one theme, and if I were doing a Jesus Seminar style bible where the passages were colored by how likely Jesus was to have said them I would be fine giving the vast vast majority of the teachings recorded in the gospels pretty high likelihoods of being close to something said by the historical Jesus. This passage though... it's the one really glaring exception that stands in strong opposition to everything else Jesus focuses on, so I really have to regard it as a later addition.

  11. #9
    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Corryton
    Faith
    Trinitarian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,671
    Amen (Given)
    296
    Amen (Received)
    3101
    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    A decade or so ago when I did a thorough analysis of Jesus's teachings in the gospels, this passage stood out to be as being by far the most inconsistent with the rest. All of the rest of Jesus's teachings in the gospels are consistent with a social reformer who is rejecting the ritual purity requirements of the Law and is focusing on the morality of helping those in need. It actually surprised me how much close to everything was consistent with that one theme, and if I were doing a Jesus Seminar style bible where the passages were colored by how likely Jesus was to have said them I would be fine giving the vast vast majority of the teachings recorded in the gospels pretty high likelihoods of being close to something said by the historical Jesus. This passage though... it's the one really glaring exception that stands in strong opposition to everything else Jesus focuses on, so I really have to regard it as a later addition.
    What is inconsistent about it?

  12. #10
    tWebber
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Faith
    Toonist
    Posts
    3,026
    Amen (Given)
    29
    Amen (Received)
    1217
    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    A decade or so ago when I did a thorough analysis of Jesus's teachings in the gospels,
    You mean that time you breezed through them with a jaundiced fundy atheist eyeball, Donald?

    All of the rest of Jesus's teachings in the gospels are consistent with a social reformer who is rejecting the ritual purity requirements of the Law and is focusing on the morality of helping those in need.
    Good night you are stupid. Adherence to a contract/covenant was a simple and straightforward matter of honor no matter what new contracts/covenants were in the offing. Can the tiny tendrils of brains you possess wrap themselves around this very simple point? Just because a law against e.g., possession of less than 10 ounces of weed is rescinded effective on June 1, 2020 does not mean that on May 31, 2020, you can walk around with 9 ounces of weed and claim that the law allows it. I use the example as relational because your scholarly competence and reasoning is approximately that of someone high on weed.


    It actually surprised me how much close to everything was consistent with that one theme, and if I were doing a Jesus Seminar style bible where the passages were colored
    I can well imagine you doing any project that involves coloring. Use the orange one on your face to match your tanned teacher in like-thought.

    This passage though... it's the one really glaring exception that stands in strong opposition to everything else Jesus focuses on, so I really have to regard it as a later addition.
    Well you know, Starscream, it just MIGHT have been, you know, a response to the same charge leveled later against Paul, and earlier against Jesus, that they were compromising the law by their behavior! Maybe you're too much of a Trump-brain to grasp that. Before you cough up an answer, make sure you take account of the principles of honor associated with obeying a covenant that is still in effect even while the teaching of reform/renewal is in process. Try to resist inhaling hallucinogens before you analyze this time.
    Last edited by jpholding; 06-04-2020 at 08:18 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •