With this blog I will be concluding the series on the Sermon on the Mount as part of a series on Matthew’s Gospel. I will be generating a series of blogs related to the heart as discussed throughout the Bible. My motivation is that I have been enjoying a pacemaker for nearly two years. So, the health of the heart is a concern of mine. I found that there are hundreds of references to the heart in the Bible. I have read them and marked many for further study and reflection.
But let me focus on the last lines of the Sermon on the Mount today. In thinking about the concluding comments of the Sermon where Jesus contrast wise and foolish builders, I got to reflecting about the years that Jesus spent in the carpenter\’s shop in Nazareth.
If his shop was like the small town craftsmen shops that I am familiar with, on rainy days, the workers would have gathered at the shop to wait for the weather to clear. A variety of topics would have been discussed. Among them from time to time would have been accounts of disasters similar to the one in the story about the foolish and the wise builders.
My thought is that there was an historical event, or events, behind this story, as there was behind many of the other stories that Jesus told to illustrate great spiritual truths. Here, Jesus is saying that if one wants to have a solid life, then one should build his life upon the solid rock of the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount.
- The blessed life is one that begins with the realization that it needs God. The positive consequence is a life that is sensitive to the needs of others and ministers to them. The negative consequence is persecution.
- Those who build their lives on this will find that they function as salt and light for the world.
- The law of God functions for these people as a wake-up call. They realize that they are sinful and in need of forgiveness. They see that God expects total obedience, not technical compliance. Perfection is the expectation. This is both humbling and a continuing goal which does not allow for easy satisfaction with one\’s achievements.
- The spiritual disciplines of alms giving, prayer, and fasting are expected activities. The Kingdom of God is to be the focus and the goal of everyday life and of the future.
- We are not to condemn others.
- We are depend upon God.
- We are to be alert to evil.
- We are to live fruitful lives.
- Everything is built upon this rock as a foundation.
Thank you Jesus for the Sermon on the Mount. Help me to live according to its teachings. Thank you for saving me in spite of my failures.