Jesus brings understanding of the spiritual (Mt 11:1-17)

March 23, 2009

The Kingdom life taking root

Matthew 11:1-17

After training and sending off His disciples, which we discussed Friday, Jesus went to preach in the towns of Galilee. It’s interesting that John the Baptist and the disciples were key players in the ushering in of the Kingdom Jesus came to bring, and yet they didn’t really have a clue what God was doing.

Each was an important part of God’s plan, and He worked through them. John heralded the coming Kingdom and yet he did not know what it was. They could not see beyond their own simple understandings. Their world revolved around their own lives and their own deeply ingrained misconceptions. They believed that Jesus would come ahead of an army to kick Rome out of Israel and restore its sovereignty. They had no understanding of the new spiritual life that God wanted to breathe into His people and that He is very patient to bring about the ultimate conquering in order to foster this life within us. Read the rest of this entry »

Does God want us to have religion? (Mt 6:1-18)

February 16, 2009

Matthew 6:1-18

On Friday, Jesus was teaching us how we will interact in the world when we have been transformed by the Holy Spirit. Today, we’ll begin to discuss how He tells us to accomplish this with an overview of the religious life of His day (which is not so different from what is common today). If you have not, please read the first post in this discussion of the Sermon on the Mount here, before continuing.

The Jews felt that there were three areas of religious duties prescribed within the Law. These were:

  1. Giving to the poor
  2. Prayer
  3. Fasting Read the rest of this entry »

Is the Law inside you? (Mt 5:17-48)

February 13, 2009

Matthew 5:17-48

Yesterday we finished discussing the heart attitude we must have to approach God. Please read the introduction to the Sermon on the Mount before reading this if you have not. It’s important that you understand Jesus is not talking about Salvation in this topic which is another subject. Here, Jesus is teaching us how to enter His Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and all the Prophets. He begins this section by telling us…Yes, I am a King and I am bringing a new Kingdom reality, but I did not come to undo the Law given to you by God through Moses. And in fact, His requirements are more strict than that of the Law. But where the Pharisees were unable to teach the people how to actually live the Law, Jesus tells us that He enables us to live this life through His Holy Spirit. Read the rest of this entry »