From the Archives - Dec. 2008
This is it. The conclusion to Mission: Possible? If you have not read the first 2 parts please skip down two posts to Part 1. Join the discussion. Let's look at the final part of the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 5 was rough and chapter 6 was only slightly better (or worse depending on your perspective). Let's see where ch. 7 takes us.
"Stop judging so that you will not be judged. Otherwise, you will be judged by the same standard you use to judge others. The standards you use for others will be applied to you. So why do you see the piece of sawdust in another believer's eye and not notice the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to another believer, 'Let me take the piece of sawdust out of your eye,' when you have a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye. Then you will see clearly to remove the piece of sawdust from another believer's eye.
Ouch! Jesus pulls no punches here. Right out of the gate He hits the nail on the head of an issue plaguing our jobs, churches, etc. Who reading this has not been guilty of this one? I know I sure have.
The next few verses are like a whirlwind rush to the end. Asking, giving and receiving all are hit on here. Verse 12, also known as the GOLDEN RULE, talks about doing for others what we would have them do for us. Oh that we all truly lived that way. He even talks about knowing a believer by their fruit. Is the fruit the stuff He was talking about in chapters 5-7? What do you think?
Jesus tells us to avoid the wide road to destruction and to go into life through the narrow way but then says, "But the narrow gate and the road that lead to life are full of trouble. Only a few people find the narrow gate." The way He TELLS US to go is full of trouble. Not easy! Uh Oh....
Then He throws this one at us: "Therefore, everyone who hears what I say and obeys it will be like a wise person who built a house on rock."
The chapter comes to a conclusion with this: "When Jesus finished this speech, the crowds were amazed at his teachings."
Well yeah, I am as well. This was the longest discourse Jesus gave that we have on record. It is not a sermon to the unbelievers, to the world so to speak. It is a sermon to us, His children. Many say if we try to live this way we are "socialists, communists, hippies, etc. You can't live in peace with one another, you can't forgive EVERYONE who wrongs you. What about JUSTICE?"
The thing is, Jesus doesn't ask us for excuses. He doesn't say, "Hey try this and if it doesn't work for you no harm, no foul." He call us to obedience. It may be uncomfortable obedience but it is obedience He calls us to nevertheless.
Is it possible? Yes. Is it hard? Yes. What we need is Jesus living in us and through us to accomplish this possible mission. We also need faith! (Hebrews 11:6)
Do you long to see change in your life, church, etc? Let's all try to follow the example of Jesus and truly live our faith! I'll be honest and say I'm not there yet but I want to make the journey. Are you with me?