Read Matthew 5.
Matthew 5-7, commonly known as the “Sermon on the Mount”, is one of the most well known teaching of Jesus. I use the term well known loosely. Why loosely? Because I can know what Jesus teaches me and not apply it to my daily life.
The things discussed here in this chapter are important things that we need to not only know in our hearts, but apply to our daily lives. They are relational things. Thus, important things. How we relate to God and one another, are pretty important stuff.
And, this is how it all began:
“When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them… (Mt. 5:1-2, NASB)”
It is here that Jesus boldly proclaims the truths about His Awesome Kingdom. It is here that Jesus reminds us that His Kingdom is nothing like this world!
The Kingdom of God
We just heard that the Kingdom of God had come near. Jesus is about to rock our world, with just a small glimpse of what He means. We are reminded of this Kingdom (or way) of God with John the Baptist in chapter 3 where we are reminded of a great need we have.
We have a great need for our God!
“Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near (Mt. 3:2, NLT).”
The Ways of God
Jesus reminds us that He didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword (see Mt. 10:34). Jesus has not come, so that we may live comfortably (see Mt. 16:24). Those who choose to follow Jesus will have to decide whom they will follow. They must answer the question – “Whom shall I serve?” (see Josh. 24:14-15).
See each day, we make this choice. Jesus’ Kingdom and our world have opposing values (IE. 1 Jn. 2:15-17).
From Matthew 5, we read that we are to love our enemies. This is just one of several important truths we are met with today from our time spent in the Word of God. We know that this world celebrates when we retaliates over our enemies. But, God has a very different way, a very distinct way.
While this world celebrates retaliation over our enemies, Jesus teaches us that He loves them… He loves them, just as much as He loves us. He has demonstrated to us His kind of love, that extends to all of the human race. Just as the Father loves them, we are called to exit this ideal that it’s somehow okay to bully our enemies and to love them instead.
When we operate our lives based on God’s Kingdom, many things change as a result! Before we can change the world or be a light to the outside world, we must first turn to God ourselves, confess and forsake sin (turn away from it), and allow His Kingdom ways to rock our world!
… has come to reconcile us to Him. He has come, so that we might taste and see that He is both fully God and good! The ways of God’s Kingdom are of such great importance for us, as believers in Christ Jesus! But before anything else happens, we have to be willing to step into His Kingdom. Coming to Jesus, is step one. The most beautiful step of them all.
The Hard Things
In Matthew 5, Jesus covers a few topics. Each are important for us to grasp and to help us in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ! These are not fluffy truths for us to share to others, but not allow God to use them to shape our lives in His Kingdom. These truths are not comfortable. Ever try loving your enemy in the way described in the Word of God? But, this is where the God of the universe shows us who He is. It is in the really hard things, that God gets the glory!
How is God revealing to you the ways that His Kingdom is different from this world? What will your response be to the different values – cleave to Christ or the things of this world?