Reading of Text
Context of Passage
The Sermon on the Mount is full of instructions that challenge the wisdom of how we have been building our lives, even to this very day. It is indeed difficult and strongly countercultural to do what Jesus says—to go to the sister or brother who has something against us, before the start of worship, and seek reconciliation, prioritizing this above everything else in church that day. To show generosity to those who hate us, speak ill of us, and have acted to our harm. To willingly offer to someone more than he or she is suing us for. To invest our money not with a view to our indulgence beyond the needful in the present, or to our secure enjoyment of the future, but with a view to relieving the necessity of our neighbor in the present. To turn our powers of diagnosis ever toward ourselves and the distance we still have to travel toward Christlikeness, before presuming to diagnose a sister or brother.
So much within us screams that were we to live like this, we’d be ruined, we’d be fools, but Jesus says that to live like this is like building a house upon a foundation of bedrock. To live like this now is to lay a strong foundation for the future.
DOING VS. NOT DOING
The fundamental aim of the Sermon is to present Jesus and his kingdom vision for his kingdom people, and the only acceptable response to this Sermon is to embrace him, to accept the challenge; that means to do what he says.
Luther, Sermon on the Mount, 281.