Many are drawn to the sermon on the mount like a bright light. But as we draw close to this light we fear it may burn us. The question that confronts all interpreters of this sermon is: Is this a demanding law that lays out the requirements we need to do to enter the kingdom of heaven or is it demanding grace… a description of the character that God is working in us once we have have received his kingdom as his gift? In its context and especailly in its opening words we see that the kingdom is a free gift of grace but we soon learn that this grace is not cheap. Faith, forgiveness, character are not cheap but searching, demanding, free and freeing. We don’t enter the kingdom because of our worth but because we recognise our need, but once we enter that kingdom, we change. [Audio | Notes]
Matthew 5.1-16 | Being accepted
How to change the world
How is the kingdom for and how do we enter it?
Salt – to preserve a world that decays
Light – to live by in a world that is dark
For further thought
Q: The word ‘blessed’ is sometimes translated, happy but the core meaning is to be approved. Where does the approval in this passage come from? Why does approval matter to us? Where does our approval come from?
Q: Jesus often teaches about the Kingdom being here and also yet to come (see 6.10, 12.28, 44-50; 21.31, 22.1-14, 24.1-35). How are the blessings promised in Matthew 5.3-12 available in part now and fulfilled finally in the future?
Q: When Jesus said to the crowds (4.24,25 & 7.28) who first heard him: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”, what was he saying about how people enter the Kingdom of Heaven?
Q: How are you being salt (preservative) and light (a guide)? What is the cost? What is the joy?