Scripture: Matthew 7:24-28; Matthew 5:1-12
During the season of Lent we are doing a sermon series entitled, The Footsteps of Jesus. The goal of this series is to explore how the various steps in Jesus’ ministry are aspects of our journey as Christians that we need to mirror in our own lives. Last week, we discussed how we become a disciple of Jesus. This week we are discussing the teachings of Jesus.
What you find in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is that everything is backwards. Nothing is exactly what you would expect it to be. In every way that you normally define what is right in life and society, Jesus upends all that and says it’s wrong. For instance, one of the biggest ways Jesus’ teachings controvert our expectations is by classifying thoughts as sins.
Prior to Jesus, the only way you could be accused of a sin is by actually doing the deed. But Jesus says that thinking is as bad as doing because, in order to commit sin, you have to think about it prior to doing it. If you didn’t think the thought, then you wouldn’t perform the action. The deed is an actualization of the thought in the real world. The problem with this approach to sin is that it is much easier to control your actions than it is to control your thoughts.
Therefore, many people feel that Jesus’ bar is simply too high. If I’m being judged on the basis of my thoughts, then it’s a losing proposition. Since many of us have trouble controlling our thoughts, we say, “There’s no way to stop bad thoughts from happening, so why try?” And this is how Christians thought about sin for a hundreds of years. This Sunday we’re going to talk about a theologian who believed that we could actually do the things that Jesus is asking of us. Spring is almost here! I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!