What was it Jesus was doing here?  How do we read / Hear this sermon? - 

17"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19"Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others [to do] the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches [them], he shall be calledgreat in the kingdom of heaven.

20"For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses [that] of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enterthe kingdom of heaven.

 

He is rewriting the law in the ears of his hearers.  Rewriting it the way it was originally meant to be read and heard.  He is giving us our interpretive key for the Old Testament.  He is unlearning them the things they had heard and understood from their culture and from their rabbis.  

 

The Sermon on the Mount; The Beatitudes

1When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2He opened His mouth and [began] to teach them, saying,

3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

  • Lets start at the beginning - Lets get one thing straight
    • Realize your poverty
    • Romans 11:35 -  35Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN?
    • You know nothing and have nothing to bring to the table.  You are compeletly wrong in the way you look at the world.  Start by taking every idea in your head and realizing it is worthless.
    • Our lives are a vapor - here one minute and gone the next
    • Anything we have came to us from God in the first place
    • Anything we do or make -
      • the ability to do that thing came from God 
      • because we are innately flawed and broken everything we do and or create is deeply flawed and broken as well
    • we have no ability to be righteous
    • we have no ability to be truly and deeply good because within our own attempts to be good there are motives which are selfish and broken.
    • happy are those who realize that they have nothing, God owes them nothing - they live in the full and constant knowledge of their spiritual, tangible and moral bankruptcy - we have a word for this attitude - Repentance 
  • Jesus is clearing the table - Don’t think you can add what I am saying to your store of spiritual knowledge - this isn’t a conversation - Joy will be found in the abandonment of all the stuff you have in your hands

 

  • Why are these people happy?????? - “for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven” - all of it.  The Kingdom belongs to those who know the truth about themselves - we have nothing - But God would give us everything!
    • Luke 18:16 But Jesus called for them, saying, "Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
    • Luke 12:32 - Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.
    • Isaiah 57:15 - For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place: with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones
    • James 4:6 - But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
    • Psalm 14:6 - You would shame the plans of the poor,
  • It is only in this place of spiritual poverty that we can begin to receive from God - 
    • Only a cup that is empty can be filled
    • Only a student who knows nothing can learn everything
    • Matt 19:23-24 23And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
      • "the eye of a needle” - was the small “door-size” gate that was left open at night.  Camel’s could not get through it while carrying anything on their backs and even then they would be forced to get down on all thier knees and crawl.

 

  • The kingdom of heaven cannot be earned - It can only be given.
  • The kingdom of heaven can only be received by GRACE as a gift from God 
    • Gal 2:21I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousnessc were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
    • Rom 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
  • If you attempt to earn grace you will lose it - 

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