June 2019

Friday, 17 May 2019 10:11 Be the first to comment!

"The Lifestyle of the Kingdom of God ..."


“Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jesus warned as he began his public ministry in Galilee (Matt: 4:17) Huge crowds came to hear him and they came to hear about a kingdom. Instead, Jesus talked about a lifestyle, the lifestyle of those who intend to live in the kingdom. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matt: 5-7) Jesus began to fill out the implications of his appeal for repentance. It would mean far more than an outward show of piety. Jesus urged his listeners to make a complete change of heart and life. The Sermon on the Mount contains the core of Jesus’ moral and ethical teaching.

The Beatitudes (Matt: 5:3-12) True happiness comes from looking at life from God’s perspective, which is often the reverse of the human point of view. Salt and light (5: 13-18) Jesus wants his followers to influence the moral and spiritual climate of the world. The morality of the kingdom (5:17-48) Jesus’ listeners were familiar with the Old Testament law and with the many traditions added to it over the years. But Jesus revealed a morality that went beyond the letter of the law to its spirit.

Spiritual disciplines (6: 1-18) Practising faith certainly involves behaviour but it goes beyond an outward show of spirituality to the hidden quality of someone’s character. Treasures on earth (6:19-34) our relationship to money and material possessions reveals much about our relationship to God. Jesus does not denounce worldly goods but he urges us to place ultimate value on the treasures of heaven.

Judging right and wrong (7: 1-6) Most of us are quick to point out the flaws of others. Jesus warns us to pay more attention to our own. Asking and receiving (7: 7-12) when we approach God in prayer with a request we can expect him to deal with us as a truly loving father deals with his child, and just as God deals with us in love, he expects us to deal with others in love. Jesus wraps up his message (7: 13-29) with a challenge to obedience and change.

In this teaching Jesus describes the lifestyle of the kingdom of God. When he had finished Matthew records that people were astonished at his teaching, and no wonder, they were listening to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords Himself.

With every blessing,
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