Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Thoughts on Matthew 5 (Sermon on the mound)

Matthew 5 (MSG)

You're Blessed
1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

3"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

4"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

5"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are-no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

6"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.

7"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.

8"You're blessed when you get your inside world-your mind and heart-put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

9"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.

10"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.

11-12"Not only that-count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens-give a cheer, even!-for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

When Jesus was teaching the crowds, He was teaching them how to live in a way that pleases God, He didn't condemn the crowds for their sin or evil ways although being God He had the right to, who did He condemn though? The Religious leaders and teachers of the law (Pharisees and Religious lawyers). They were taking Gods Principles and adding to them in such a way that not only was it impossible to follow them, but they were profiting from it and becoming rich. Today we have the same thing going on in a lot of the Televangelist, they are not there to teach Gods children the way to live, They are there to tell them what they want to hear and make a ton of money in the process. This is called the prosperity gospel, "The more you give to them the more God will give you", which is taking the verse in Malachi 3 and corrupting it for their own personal gain. but if you look earlier into Malachi you find this:

Malachi 2:7-9( MSG) "It's the job of priests to teach the truth. People are supposed to look to them for guidance. The priest is the messenger of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. But you priests have abandoned the way of priests. Your teaching has messed up many lives. You have corrupted the covenant of priest Levi. God-of-the-Angel-Armies says so. And so I am showing you up for who you are. Everyone will be disgusted with you and avoid you because you don't live the way I told you to live, and you don't teach my revelation truly and impartially."

You have to teach it the way it really is, God wants a relationship with us, He wants us to Love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Everything can be summarized into two things and Jesus told us what they were.

Love God

Love others.

Malachi also tells us in chapter 2 this:

13-15And here's a second offense: You fill the place of worship with your whining and sniveling because you don't get what you want from God. Do you know why? Simple. Because God was there as a witness when you spoke your marriage vows to your young bride, and now you've broken those vows, broken the faith-bond with your vowed companion, your covenant wife. God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage? Children of God, that's what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you. Don't cheat on your spouse.

Chapter 3 is what gets used to lure us into throwing money at the TV preachers but is this what God intended? Malachi 3 tells us:

8-11"Begin by being honest. Do honest people rob God? But you rob me day after day.

"You ask, 'How have we robbed you?'

"The tithe and the offering-that's how! And now you're under a curse -the whole lot of you-because you're robbing me. Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don't open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams. For my part, I will defend you against marauders, protect your wheat fields and vegetable gardens against plunderers." The Message of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

It was the pharisees that got the criticism in Jesus's day, They would come at Jesus with snippets of the Law and Jesus would tell them the whole truth and it always made them look just as bad as every one else. He did this to show them that no one is "good enough" to get to God by keeping the law, it can't be done (Jesus was the only one who could). It was by his sacrifice that gave us the privilege to come to God through faith in Him alone.

We all have this problem of becoming a pharisee and becoming judgmental, for God is the only judge of human motives because He is the only one who knows our true intentions. We are to Love and treat others fairly and justly.

Post a Comment