An Alternative Community - Part 4
Opening Story/Illustration: What does it mean to have “the good life?”
Transition to Text: As we get into Jesus’ sermon on the mount, he’s going to lay out what a “blessed” life looks like.
23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. 1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
ransition to Points:
Transition to Points:
Before Jesus teaches, He touches
God sees poverty as an opportunity
This is a parallel of what took place in Exodus.
The people of Israel had been in bondage.
God comes down and delivers them
He leads them out to a mountain
Moses goes up the mountain and receives the law of the Lord.
Jesus has been healing and bring deliverence to the people
He sees the crowds following
He climbs a mountain or hill and begins teaching
Matthew is showing us the parallels here between the exodus and mount sinai and Jesus and the sermon on the mount.
Jesus delivers, heals, and saves by his grace - This is how we enter into this new community.
Now Jesus is going to begin laying out what it looks like to be in this new community.
Good works are the fruit of Christianity, not the roots. The roots are the work of Jesus in our lives.
Jesus paints a picture of this new community before he lays out any laws or demands.
His sermon has been outlined this way:
First Jesus speaks of the citizens of the kingdom
He describes their character and their blessedness
He describes their relation to the world
He the sets forth the righteousness or standards of the kingdom
He ends his sermon with how to enter the kingdom
We begin with the beatitudes
They come from the latin word for “blessings”
The word “blessed” refers to those who are and/or will be happy, fortunate, or those who are “to be congratulated” because of God’s response to their behavior or situation.
Notice how the list is really bookended by the present tense - “Theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” and the rest of them are future tense “They shall.”
Again, because this opens up the sermon - Jesus is is blessing them before he gives them the law.
Jesus begins by telling us blessed are the poor in spirit
What do you think it means to be poor in spirit?
How is this different from how the world looks at how to be “blessed?”
The world says the exact opposite - Blessed are the rich
Why? One’s outward condition may be enviable, but we must remember that it vanishes.
How is this different from how the church often looks at how to be “blessed?”
What does it mean that “Theirs is the kingdom of heaven”?
Notice it is present tense - It already belongs to them
It’s not simply about heaven
It means we can enter into a life with God now.
Eternal life does not begin in heaven, it begins now.
When we humbly admit our poverty of spirit and acknowledge our need for Him, God can come in and work. Truth is that we are all poor in spirit.