The Sermon on the Mount is an amazing revolutionary manifesto.
In Matthew 5 Jesus said: You have heard that one should not murder.
Then He said: BUT I say even being angry makes one guilty.
He said: You have heard that one must not commit adultery.
Then He said: BUT even thinking about doing so makes one guilty.
He said: You have heard that one should not break an oath.
Then He said: One should not swear at all.
He said: We have heard an eye for an eye.
Then He said: BUT I tell you not to resist but instead turn the other cheek.
He said: You have heard love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
Then He said: BUT I say love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Paul grasped the amazing depth of this when he wrote in Galatians 5, “The entire law is summed up in a single commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Until then the silver rule was the standard. “Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you.” Jesus changed it to the golden rule, “Do to others what you would want them to do to you.” That is like night and day.
Recently after telling someone they could be saved by freely accepting God’s gift, they responded that being a Christian was super easy. Really? The above first list presents us with something so difficult and so life changing. It is easy to hate and it is easy to love the loveable. But just try and love the unlovable. Jesus calls us to a standard so high and so lofty we will spend at least this lifetime trying to come close. P.S. Not to be saved but because we are saved!
Written by Roger Bothwell on Sept. 13, 2016
PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574