Mar 11, 2008

Sermon on the Mount

In the midst of a discussion about Christian politics in response to an earlier post, I have been sharing some thinking brought out of some recent reading of the Sermon on the Mount (In the Bible, Matthew chapters 5-7), where Jesus basically just sits down and starts teaching a whole pile of wisdom.

I re-post it here, because I like it, and the theme of humility in obedience is an important one...

"Lately I've been reading the Sermon on the Mount (as I think I've said already) and I've been grappling with what Jesus meant when he said we need to be MORE upright than the pharisees. I'm coming to think that we need to strive for that personal discipline and attention to their own morality that they had. These guys yearned for God, and were strict with their own righteousness. But we need to find a way to discard the judgmentalism and closed-mindedness of the pharisees.

We need to see a way through the 'rules' for an 'upright life' to find the heart of God, and seek after that. It requires huge huge doses of humility - because without humility we will never hear the whole voice of God. Our pride will prevent us from hearing things we don't think He 'should' be saying.

That has really been the whole thrust of the Sermon on the Mount, in my latest reading - HUMILITY has poured from the pages - the direction to turn the other cheek, to give all we have and more, that the meek will inherit the earth, to love your enemies as you love your friends, to not swear oaths, but let your yes be yes and your no, no (like a servant to their master), to pray in quiet, to give in secret, to fast with no-one knowing.

All this, in tension with the striving for higher 'motivation' standards than the law demands - despising someone is the same as murder, lust is the same as adultery, Christ coming to fulfil the law - not abolish it."

I'm curious to see where God is leading me with this study - perhaps because humility is a prerequisite for submission? Perhaps I'm about to be proven completely wrong in some area and need to do a potentially embarrassing about-turn? Perhaps neither of these, but something else. We shall see...

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