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And before you know it…

October 24, 2007

you haven’t blogged in almost a week. I am still here.

But with conscious decision this week, I decided not to blog what I was studying until I’d first taught it. I suspected that I was giving first place to laying out my thoughts on the topic through the blog instead of yielding first rights to God and how He would have me teach His Word.

See how pertinent and relevant studying the Bible is? Even in blogging? Yes, indeed, the temptations are always present for believers. Repentance and redirection are too.

So now that I’ve studied and taught Matthew 5:1-16, I’ll take some time to blog out what I learned.

A very significant thing that struck me with these verses, that I had never seen before, is the fact that Jesus specifically taught the Sermon on the Mount to His disciples. As opposed to teaching to a general crowd, you realize. Let me explain.

At the end of the Sermon, Mt 7:28, the Word states, “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching….” Here is evidence that Jesus’ teaching was heard by the crowd. However, at the beginning of the Sermon, Mt 5:1-2, the Word states, “Now when He saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and He began to teach them…” The “them” in verse 2 refers to the disciples.

Context from the end of Mt. 4 explains any gaps. Jesus was now well known amongst Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the Jordan region (Mt 4:25), and large crowds came to follow Him. Probably many were interested in hearing and seeing what this new teacher would say and do. Curiosity is a powerful thing.
These curious crowds would most certainly have followed Him up to where He sat with His disciples to listen in on what He was saying. But the teaching of these kingdom principles was, and is, specifically for those who live in the kingdom of heaven–for those who depend only and entirely upon the righteousness of Christ for entrance to His kingdom.

This a huge consideration in light of the fact that the Sermon so clearly reveals what you and I cannot do on our own, apart from the Holy Spirit. The Sermon clearly reveals an entire realm of counter-cultural thoughts and conduct that will not be found in any popular magazine as keys to happy living. The people of God are to live distinctively as the people of God. The Sermon clearly reveals this contrast again and again, both between believers and unbelievers as well as between true believers and religious believers.

This is where my head has been this week, really thinking and considering how, if, when, where, consistently or not, do I live distinctively? It’s a searching question. I’ll blog more on it later.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2007 2:17 pm

    I can’t believe how much your thoughts parallel mine from the last week. Right down to blogging before you’ve “learned” it. And how it looks to be distinctively different. All of it. I know what you’re “going through.”

  2. October 24, 2007 11:44 pm

    I’ve been thinking on this “living distinctively” for about a year now. And we have made some big changes!

  3. October 25, 2007 7:17 am

    I love your humility before God.

  4. October 25, 2007 7:17 am

    I love your humility before God.

  5. October 25, 2007 8:12 am

    Living as distinctively His, set apart, marked as belonging to Him…let it be so in me!

  6. October 25, 2007 8:12 am

    Living as distinctively His, set apart, marked as belonging to Him…let it be so in me!

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