Every good sermon closes with a call to action. Having established what life in the Kingdom of Heaven is to look like (Matthew 5:17-7:12), Jesus now invites us to choose whether we will follow the path he has laid out in this Sermon or the way of the world. ...Keep Reading
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After his military victory against Chedorlaomer’s armies, Abram was met by two kings: Melchizedek, the king of Salem, and the unnamed king of Sodom. While Melchizedek celebrated Abram’s victory and blessed him, the king of Sodom offered him a business transaction: “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” (Genesis 14:21) Not wanting to be indebted to the king of Sodom, Abram refused to be rewarded by him. ...
After the flood, God told Noah and his descendants to “the fill the earth” (Gen. 9:1). Instead, they proudly settled in one place and attempted to build the tower of Babel (11:1-9). In judgment, God confused their language, causing them to separate from one another and form the nations of the earth (Gen. 10). Following the account of Babel is a genealogy (11:10-32) that brings us to Abraham, the man God will use to bless the nations he has scattered....
In this final section of the Sermon on the Mount so far, Jesus has used a series of contrasts to demand a response from his audience. They are to choose the narrow road as opposed to the wide road (7:13-14), listen to true teachers as opposed to false ones (7:15-20), and to do God’s will over and against merely professing to love him (7:21-23). Jesus turns to one more contrast to conclude his sermon....
After instructing his followers not to judge others, Jesus begins to close out the main body of the Sermon on the Mount with an appeal for his followers to regularly approach their heavenly father in prayer....Keep Reading
As Jesus begins to wind down his sermon, he returns to the theme of hypocrisy that dominated 6:1-18. In this case, he deals with hypocrisy in the way that believers address sin in each other’s lives....Keep Reading
In Matthew 6:19-24, Jesus addressed our values, the things we treasure. This leads quite naturally to the subject of anxiety, for if our heart is where our treasure is (v. 21), and if our treasure is something on earth that can be lost, then our hearts will always be restless with worry that our treasure might be taken from us....Keep Reading
A major theme in the Sermon on the Mount is how different Jesus’ followers are to be from the rest of the world and what role our distinctiveness plays in God’s mission. In 6:1-18, Jesus illustrated the Christian’s distinctiveness in terms of his devotional life. Now he addresses our perspective and values. As citizens of the kingdom, the things we value (vv. 19-24) ...Keep Reading
Jesus spent much of Matthew 5 illustrating the principle he stated back in 5:20: that his followers’ righteousness should be an inner one that delights to obey God’s commandments. This theme of inner righteousness carries over into this next section (Matthew 6:1-18) where Jesus contrasts hypocritical and authentic faith. In 6:1, he states a principle and illustrates it...Keep Reading
In his discussion on prayer so far, Jesus has critiqued two methods. In contrast to the Pharisees, Christian prayer should be sincere rather than hypocritical. In contrast to the pagans with their multitude of gods, Christian prayer should be purposeful and direct, knowing full well that we are addressing our Father. To drive home his point, Jesus now gives his listeners a...Keep Reading
In Matthew 5:20, Jesus said that his followers’ righteousness should exceed that of the Pharisees who were considered by many to be the pinnacle of godliness. For the rest of the chapter, he illustrates the kind of righteousness he’s calling for by contrasting the true meaning of various Old Testament laws with how they were being misapplied by the Pharisees. In these ...Keep Reading
The Pharisees thought they had discovered loopholes in several laws of the Old Testament. They won’t murder, but they’ll hate. They won’t commit adultery, but they’ll lust. In this section, Jesus calls them out on their attempts to justify adultery and lying....Keep Reading
To many in Jesus’ day, the Pharisees were the pinnacle of righteousness. It was shocking then to hear Jesus tell his followers that they must have a greater righteousness than them. The Pharisees’ problem though was that their righteousness was often only outward, whereas Jesus’ followers were called to inward righteousness as well. The remainder of chapter 5 (vv. 21...Keep Reading