Have you ever heard a sermon or a teaching that made you cringe? Maybe it was something one of your family members said at Thanksgiving that left you feeling uneasy? Jesus was the King of doing this.
This past week Bruce walked us through Matthew 5, more commonly known as, "The Sermon on the Mount." While it is titled as such, scholars believe that this sermon was not a "one and done" for Jesus. Jesus most likely preached the themes compiled into this sermon throughout His entire ministry... making the themes even more important.
Matthew writes that Jesus encouraged the community listening, most likely Jews, with phrases such as these:
Blessed are the poor in spirit.
Blessed are the hungry.
Blessed are the persecuted.
For the Jews listening, this would have driven them mad.
They were poor in spirit. They were hungry. They were persecuted. And they did not feel blessed.
In Luke's account of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus then takes it one step further:
Luke 6:27-31 NIV, "27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you."
Love your enemies.
Bless those who curse you.
Give to everyone.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Jesus challenges everyone to pursue others in love. For an Israelite Nation that lived under the old covenant (the agreement between God and the nation of Israel found in the first five books of the Bible and consists of 600+ laws), this new concept of loving others was foreign to them.
The Messiah they were expecting was going to:
1) Be for the Nation of Israel
2) Bless the Nation of Israel
3) Wipe out the enemies of Israel
Instead, Jesus came to establish something brand new. Something much more powerful. Jesus came to establish:
1) A New Covenant for everyone (Luke 22)
2) A New Command for Everyone (John 13:34-35)
3) A New Movement for Everyone. (The Church)
This covenant would be for everyone, not just Israel. This command known as the "Love everyone" command would be for everyone, not just Israel. This movement, known as the Church, would be for everyone, not just Israel.
Jesus came to establish something new... and it was definitely cringe worthy; but He was not finished making people cringe just yet.
Join us this week on Saturday at 6:00 or Sunday morning at 9:00 & 10:30 to hear even more cringe worthy things that Jesus did and requires of us.
Take these 3 next steps this week to prepare your heart for the message:
1) Read Hebrews chapter 8 to gain a better understanding of the old covenant vs. the new covenant.
2) Pray for one person that you view as your enemy
3) Pray for our church as we continue to study the new that Jesus implemented