This week’s text is Matthew 5: 1-12. This is the justly famous Sermon on the Mount. This is arguably the best sermon ever since it encapsulates so much of what Jesus wants to teach us. Every point in the sermon is predicated on faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. This sermon has meaning precisely because we trust that God’s word is true.
In it Jesus offers blessings for those that believe. Point by point Jesus shows what a life of faith means, what it is to accept God’s gifts of grace upon grace. It is perhaps the most hopeful and comforting words Jesus offers us. That is likely why it finds its way into so many funeral services. All of it shows us how our faith changes us in the most meaningful way possible.
A Charter for a Life Lived by Grace
A charter is what the theologian and martyr to the Nazis Dietrich Bonhoeffer called the Sermon on the Mount. By that I think he meant that this is what accepting God’s gifts looks like. This faith that God has given us, changes us. We then seek to live as God calls us to live. To live the way we all know in our hearts we are supposed to live. This is what a life of faith looks like and the blessings that this life confers.
The greatest blessing is that we are granted the “kingdom of heaven” (Verse 3). This is what Matthew usually calls the kingdom of God. That is, we are heirs to an eternal relationship with our Father in Heaven and it is a thing we cannot lose, if we believe.
All of this generates complete peace in knowing that our future is secure.
It is important to note that Jesus offers us warnings at the end of this sermon. Our Lord is not in any way naïve. He knows what the world will think of His followers and Jesus explicitly warns that the going will get rough. This too is a blessing, this is our cross to bear and our witness to our faith. We can survive this rough patch in this world because of what Jesus offers us at the end of the sermon in Verse 12, “for your reward is great in heaven”. That is, no matter how bad things get here on planet Earth, God will bring His people home.
The entire sermon is testament to the fact that God has given us everything and all we need to do is accept that His word is true, the resurrection is real, and that Jesus Christ is Lord, and everything for us changes. It changes into a life of profound meaning. Profoundly meaningful that is, if we but believe, then obey.
Praise Be to God