‘When Jesus had finished saying these things,the crowds were amazed at his teaching because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.’ [Matthew 7:28 NIV]

The Sermon on the Mount Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890)

This verse is written at the end of the sermon on the mount, which covers three chapters of Matthew’s gospel. It is one of the most revolutionary pieces of teaching in the bible, especially for the people living in the time of Christ. Those people were used to the Pharisaic teaching which exaggerated minor details of the biblical law while ignoring the important heart attitudes those same laws tried to instill.

Jesus took everything they knew and turned it upside down. Or rather, he set the standard much higher, showing that kingdom living was more than just keeping a bunch of rules. It is easy to get caught up in the ‘if I follow the ten commandments, I’ll stay on God’s good side’ thought process. But, the way Jesus taught, it’s not enough to just not murder, or not lie, or not commit adultery.

Jesus showed that the heart attitude behind those kinds of sins need to be dealt with as well, not just the physical act. He said that if we hold anger toward someone, we are still in the wrong. He said that if we lust after someone other than our spouse, we are thinking in an adulterous manner.

And while it is good to give to good causes, and while it is good to fast and pray, if we do it for the world to see and therefore to boost our egos, we’ve got the whole concept wrong. God sees that as pride, not an act of humility.

No wonder the people in Israel were amazed at Jesus’ teaching. His words are still just as powerful, challenging and life-changing today.

Published in: on 26th November, 2012 at 10:28 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. So very true. The heart is the well spring of life. I’ve been pondering this just today, myself. Attitude and motivation fuel the heart to action. How careful we must be to examine the source of our behaviours.
    Dotti 🙂

    • Absolutely Dots. Just like David says ‘search my heart, and see if there is any offensive way in me.’

  2. Truly amazing, especially when we think of the time and place in which he lived. It was all turned upside down alright.

    • Jesus was indeed a revolutionary, wasn’t He Paula? His words still hold powerful challenge today. Awesome.

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