Last week Jesus taught us about the importance of making a choice between two treasures, two visions, and two masters. This week he makes this teaching even more practical by asking us to consider what we fret about, what creates angst for us, and whether we observe his care of birds, flowers, and grass.
In our contemporary financial climate many of us look at multiple options before we make any decision. In contrast Jesus presents clear alternatives on how to understand the economics of His Kingdom. There are only two treasures, two visions, and two masters, with no third option available.
In so many ways today’s passage (Matthew 6:1–18) is about the audience. Who is watching? Who matters? Who counts? Who is impressed? When we think about the various righteous things we do, like praying, giving, or fasting, we always need to ask where our Father in heaven fits into the equation.
Notice how Jesus does three things in this passage to help us in our relationship with others. He talks about the traditional teaching that comes from the Law, the way we tend to live poorly in this area, and how living in the Kingdom is supposed to work. Powerful teaching for our lives, not just for the sacred world of the church, but also for the secular world where most of us spend most of our time.
Although today’s passage in our “Way of the Kingdom” series might seem a bit anticlimactic after the last few weeks of anger, murder, lust and adultery, Jesus speaks to us today about something, in NT Wright’s words, that “goes to the very core of a person’s character – to the heart of what it means to live as a child of God.” Today, we talk about the Kingdom practice of promise-keeping and truth-telling and consider the way these actions reflect our God who is faithful to His word and the embodiment of Truth.
One look at the bible text for today and you might imagine the preacher opening his or her Bible and proclaiming: “Jesus says—Stop It!” The words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount—including today’s section–were not intended either as prohibition or condemnation. Instead, Jesus is describing the Now and Not-Yet Kingdom of his heavenly Father, and invites us to participate in this beautiful kingdom with all the stuff of our lives—including our sexuality. (Kim Pierrot)
We begin a very important section of the Sermon on the Mount this week. Jesus talks about how the Kingdom of God is not exactly like the law that preceded it even though there is continuity. The example he uses is the relationship between anger and murder, a topic that all of us can understand if we look out and if we look in! Don’t forget to go online to the CapChurch website to pick up your copy of the Study Guide for this series. (Rod Wilson)
As we continue in our series The Way of the Kingdom: Passion for Christ, Compassion for Neighbour we’ll talk about how Jesus calls his followers to conduct themselves in the world. Today, as we focus on the theme of “Compassion for Neighbour”, we will see that being “salt” and “light” in our world is as simple (and as complex) as participating with God and in God’s beautiful Kingdom the way the Beatitudes describe. (Kim Pierrot)
Join us this fall as we explore the “Way of the Kingdom”—the transformative teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew 5-7. Emerging out of our desire to cultivate passion for Christ and compassion for neighbour, we are focusing on the revolutionary words of Jesus also known as “The Sermon on the Mount”. To begin the series, we consider the often misinterpreted and misunderstood verses of Matthew 5:1-12 referred to as “The Beatitudes”. Some say these describe what being blessed looks like. Others suggest they outline how to be a good Christian. One famous televangelist claimed they were the keys for happiness calling them “Be Happy Attitudes”! What if these verses are not as much about our happiness or attitudes as they are about God’s character, the shape of His kingdom, and how we get to participate? (Kim Pierrot)