Graceful Perseverance: On a Hillside near Capernaum – 02/17
Welcome to this week’s blog. This week I am focusing on one of my favorite gospels, the gospel of Matthew, Chapters 5-7. Matthew (Levi) was originally a Jewish tax collector, who then became a disciple of Jesus. The gospel of Matthew was written approximately A.D. 60-65 and intended for the Jewish community. Matthew’s gospel was written as evidence that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal king.
The region was Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Galilee, Judea and Capernaum. The setting was “Sermon on the Mount,” on a hillside near Capernaum. It was Jesus who named this hillside, a place where crowds would gather to listen to Jesus teach for many hours and days at a time. Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. He taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” . . . Matthew 5:1-5.
Jesus’ sermons proclaimed His attitude toward the law of the land. Jesus reminds us that money, authority and position or status are not at all important in God’s kingdom. The most significant matter in God’s kingdom is our conduct of faithful obedience from the heart.
Jesus’ sermons on the mount challenged all - the proud, the lawful and religious leaders of the time. These sermons continued for days, and linked to the prophets of the Old Testament, who, like Jesus, taught that heartfelt obedience is more important than legal compliance.
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and he began to teach them. – Matthew, Chapters 5-7.
As I visualize this setting in my mind’s eye, with the crowds gathering on a hillside to listen to Jesus teach, I try to imagine myself as part of the crowds. I am in wonder and amazement listening to the Messiah, the King of Kings, the Alpha, the Omega, our Lord and Savior, instructing me on how He commands me to live out my life. Just as a child, without the blink of an eye, attentively listening to their father instruct and correct them on their behavior, it feels much the same for me. I am sitting next to Jesus and listening to Him tell me how my “heartfelt obedience” to Him is the most imperative part of his message. And then He teaches me how to go about living by following His obedience.
Jesus gives the “Beatitudes” – Matthew 5: 2-12
Jesus teaches about “Salt and Light” – Matthew 5:13-16
Jesus teaches about the “Law” – Matthew 5:17-20
Jesus teaches about “Anger” – Matthew 5: 21-26
Jesus teaches about “Lust” – Matthew 5: 27-32
Jesus teaches about “Divorce” – Matthew 5: 31-32
Jesus teaches about “Vows” – Matthew 5: 33-37
Jesus teaches about “Revenge” – Matthew 5: 38-42
Jesus teaches about “Loving Enemies” – Matthew 5:4 3-48
Jesus teaches about “Giving to the Needy” – Matthew 6:1-4
Jesus teaches about “Prayer” – Matthew 6: 5-15
Jesus teaches about “Fasting” – Matthew 6:16-18
Jesus teaches about “Money” – Matthew 6:19-24
Jesus teaches about “Worry” – Matthew 6: 25-34
Jesus teaches about “Judging Others” – Matthew 7:1-6
Jesus teaches about “Asking, Seeking, Knocking” – Matthew 7: 7-12
Jesus teaches about “Way to Heaven” – Matthew 7: 13-14
Jesus teaches about “Fruit in People’s Lives” – Matthew 7:15-23
Jesus teaches about “Building on a Solid Foundation” – Matthew 7: 24-29
To the wise and foolish builders Jesus says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” – Matthew 7: 24-27.
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Blessings until next week, Debra Pauli Unstoppable Believer