Summary: The hardest thing that we will ever have to do is live out a life of loving others treating them as we would want to be treated. If we love others the way Jesus did, it will wreck our lives.
Series on the Mount
Jesus Will Wreck Your Life
October 14, 2007
What might be your greatest fear? What do you dread the most? What possibility scares you the most?
I think the greatest fear for humans is God. Here’s a being that is greater than we can comprehend. More holy than our wildest imaginations. No wonder the bible talks about fearing God. Yet God is also more than loving than we will ever know. But this is scary especially when you think about what Jesus said referring to love in chapter of the Sermon on the Mount, “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” How can I love perfectly? It petrifying.
Two men were walking along discussing God, eternity, and judgment. One of them stops and says, “You know, there is a question I’d like to ask God.”
“What question?” his friend responds.
“How could you let all the evil and despair and injustice occur in this world?”
“Yeah, it doesn’t make sense!”
The first guy stops and with serious expression says, “But the question terrifies me!”
“Terrifies you? How could asking such a fundamental question terrify you?”
“Well, I’m afraid God might ask me the same question.”
Turn to Matthew 7:12 and we will hear Jesus sum it up.
12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
There are a few things here. First this verse is:
Jesus’ Shema: a summary
This is what Jesus believed. This is the way his followers are to live. We are to love. Not just believe in who Jesus was but it must transform the way we live and interact with others. This is scary. Yes, this is terrifying. Why? Because I believe that we begin to live out what Jesus teaches and form a new community and a new way of living that stops judging others and embraces the poorest of the poor and stops lusting after everything that can be bought and sold and especially in our day: sex. If we would actually forgive others and if we would pray for God’s will in our lives and pray for our enemies and actually fast and generously give of anything and everything that we have and poor out blessings on everyone around us (not just those we know well and who are easy to love), then it will wreck out lives. Yes, Jesus will wreck your life.
Most of us when we see this verse put ourselves first. We ask, “What would I like to be done for me?” But this doesn’t really capture the meaning. If loving is desiring what is best for others, then we must ask what is it that would benefit them the most. Not what would benefit me if I were in that situation. Loving will wreck your life.
For Jesus this short little creed is what the entire Old Testament is about: Loving others. Doing for them and treating them in the same way that you would want to be treated. It is a radical departure from our self-centered existence that will wreck your life.
“Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer.” – Dorothy Day
“Following Jesus is simple, but not easy. Love until it hurts and then love more.” – Mother Teresa