Over the course of the next few months, Hope Church is going through a sermon series titled The Upside-Down Kingdom. In this series, Pastors Yogi and Andy will be diving into Jesus’ most divisive teaching: The Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7.
So far in the series, we have already covered the Beatitudes, Jesus’ call for his followers to be salt and light as they tread the earth, and Jesus’ relationship with the Bible. Over the next few weeks, we will be using the Hope Devotionals as a weekly space to explore The Sermon on the Mount more deeply.
The Sermon on the Mount was a radically different message for followers of God to hear at the time it was given. Even today, this message is radically different than how the world operates. Jesus confronted the basic structure of what it meant to be a follower of God and turned it on its head. No more was there to be an eye for an eye, but rather we are not to resist when something evil is done to us. No more was murder just a physical act, but a spiritual one when we give in to anger. No more are we to love only those who love us and hate our enemies, but rather we are to love them and even to pray for them.
Jesus didn’t stop there. He also instructed us how to properly give, how to form our prayers, how to fast, and how to handle worry and anxiety.
The message of The Sermon on the Mount resonates today just as loud as it did over 2000 years ago. The way of the world does not work. The way of the world leads to sin, violence, and ultimately death. This is especially evident during the current political season in which we find ourselves entrenched. It is clear that we are searching for a new way and a new hope. Jesus’ message in this sermon is exactly what we need. It is exactly the way of life that Jesus called his disciples to preserve in this world.
As we continue to explore The Sermon on the Mount closer, I encourage you to read it over each week. Let the text speak to you, pray it, and may this teaching reveal something new to you. In the coming weeks we will be exploring practical ways to employ this teaching in our daily lives.