As Jesus wraps up his famous Sermon, he pushes his followers to consider what kind of relationships they need in order to live out his teaching: lives of humility before God and one another.
There are all sorts of things that can compete for our attention or affection. But Jesus wants to make sure we have a rock-solid relationship with our Heavenly Father. Therefore, he gives us the remedy to worry, so that we can focus on God clearly and be shaped by the concerns of his Kingdom alone.
Lots of people LOVE the Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are the poor in spirit, the mourning, the humble. It’s beautiful! But people who love it often overlook the impossibly high bar Jesus sets in this week’s passage. Jesus summarises it by saying: “Be perfect”! (5:48). Do you really need to be perfect? Can you be? What do you do if you aren’t?
As Jesus starts his most famous sermon, he gives us a list of blessings that turn our expectations on their head. Jesus confronts us with the unexpected beauty of the Gospel: That God’s people aren’t those who look the most together and impressive; it’s those who are broken, needy and humble–poor in spirit, and thirsting for righteousness–who belong to the true people of God.
Following Jesus is hard work. That’s why God calls us to turn around and help others follow him. We call this discipleship. In this talk, we watch as Jesus calls his first disciples. We’ll see where discipleship begins, and where God wants to take us. Hopefully by the end we’ll have some idea of how we can be a community that makes and matures disciples who are radically committed to the cause of Christ.
In one of those classic scenes in the Bible, Jesus is led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil. Why? In this talk, Philip explores the temptations of Christ and how Jesus’ story can become our own pattern for remaining faithful to God in our day-to-day lives.
Out of all the words we don’t really love to hear, repent is probably right near the top. But what does repentance actually mean? And why was John the Baptist so keen to get this message out as he prepares the way for Jesus? Sam explores that and more as we start our new series looking at the early ministry & teaching of Jesus.