[RE]FOCUS Day 41
Week 6: Reforming
Day 6: Sermon on the Mount
By John Lucas
Matthew 5:43–44 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”
Why doesn’t God just talk directly to me? Maybe this is a question you’ve asked when you read sections of the Old Testament where God speaks directly to His prophets or kings, or in the New Testament when Jesus speaks during His ministry. We desperately want to hear God, and the good news is that God does speak directly to us in His Word.
Focus on the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. I don’t think it’s an accident that Jesus says over and over “I say to you.” Jesus is speaking to all people, not just the ones gathered on the mountain 2,000 years ago. In fact, what Jesus is saying to us covers our relationship with others and our relationship with God.
What He says is not always easy to process. We naturally want to be anxious. How can we not be during a pandemic and a divisive time in our country? We naturally want to retaliate, or hate our enemies. But over and over Jesus says “You have heard…but I say to you.” So focusing on Jesus’ words, we see that living a Christian life is not always easy. It often goes against what we want. However, by the faith that we have in Jesus through the Holy Spirit, we can do these things and follow what God commands. God speaks to you; just open up His Word.
Father, when I long to hear Your voice, help me to trust the words You’ve already spoken, the words to which Your Spirit draws me. Thank You for faithfulness, forgiveness, and founding our faith which reforms my faith, hope, and love to return to You. Guide me to grow in what You speak to me through Your Word. Amen.
How does Jesus’ authoritative reading of the Law change how you consider it? How does that impact your view of grace?