Every one of us has our own way and idea of being a Christian. That is the biggest challenge for Christianity today. We decide by ourselves what is right and wrong and how a Christian should believe and behave.
People would be shocked if they read the New Testament and found out what Jesus said. Probably, most of the members of a Christian church would disagree with Him. And this is what the many churches are doing all over the world, they are redefining Jesus, and making Him say what they want to hear.
Before we dive into the Beatitudes, we need to learn a few things about the Sermon of the Mountain. The Sermon of the Mountain is one of the most important, if not the most important teachings of Jesus. In this sermon we learn essential lessons from Jesus Himself about His Kingdom. Because of that it is important for us to understand this sermon.
One of the important aspects of the Kingdom that Jesus made clear is that the Kingdom is spiritual and not physical and political. The Messiah that the people were expecting was a physical and strong leader who would conquer and defeat the Roman empire and establish the old kingdom of Israel in the world. They were waiting for this kind of King. Jesus came with a totally different message, a message that the Kingdom of God was not something physical nor political, but spiritual.
The other aspect about the Kingdom is that the Kingdom is internal and not external. Jesus makes clear in this sermon that the teachings will affect the person internally, before affecting them externally. The Kingdom of God begins in our heart, and spreads outward in our life.
The first thing that we need to learn in this sermon is about its teacher. Jesus is the teacher, and this is how He presents Himself in this sermon.
Jesus the King – In this sermon the King announces the principles of His Kingdom. Jesus is the Messiah and the King, and in this sermon, He is establishing the rules and modus operandi of His Kingdom. Probably, it was because of that that He went to the top of the mountain, so He would not only communicate better His message to the people, but also make clear that He is the most elevated and important person in the Kingdom. If someone wants to hear and learn from Him, they have to come to Him.
Jesus the Rabbi – He sat down – this was the tradition for an authoritative teaching. When the Rabbi sat down, he was teaching with authority. When the Rabbi taught walking or standing normally this would mean that the teaching did not have the same authority compared with the teachings when he was sitting.
Jesus with this attitude is telling the people and the disciples that He is the Teacher, the Rabbi, the one with Authority from God to tell them what to do and what to be. This should impact each one of us when we read what Jesus said.
Have a blessed week,