Scripture: Matthew 5:1-16
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him and he began to teach them. (Matthew 5:1-2)
A lot of people around here are into nature and hiking. I don’t understand, but I love them anyway. Why risk the ticks and bears and skunks and poison ivy, why do you want to go to all that trouble? They tell me that making it up to the top of a mountain is worth it because once you get to the top and look out, you see things differently. It’s beautiful up there, and the view from the mountaintop changes your perspective. The things you see every day up-close look different from up there–they are sanctified. And that changes the way you look at things, even when you come back down.
Many of Jesus’ teachings are gathered together in the gospel of Matthew in what has become known as the sermon on the mount. We are going to spend the next few weeks looking out from the perspective of that mountain top sermon. Because we believe our faith in Jesus should be shaped more deeply by his words about us than our words about him. The view from the mountain is challenging, but the way the vast beauty of Christ’s words is sanctifying.
Jesus’ words will challenge us–and the challenge will change us.
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