Summary: As part of the Sermon on the Mount, This sermon highlights some of the things that are expected of those who would be a part of God’s kingdom. Loving your enemies is but one of the things that Jesus commands us to do in a list of things that are are imp
Works Cited/Consulted include J Vernon Magee, Holman Commentary, College Press NIV commentary, various sermon central illustrations, as well as Bible and personal observations.
Slides available upon request... firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening Scripture Slide…
"You have heard that it was said, ’YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
"For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
"If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
"Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:43-48 (NASB)
If you’re here visiting for the first time today…. I just want to recap for you what’s been happening here ….
This chapter in Matthew is the first of three chapters collectively called the Sermon on the Mount.
Change slide to sermon on the mount LOCATION…
Jesus in actually up on a mountain and he begins to teach…
NOT THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS….BUT WHAT IS NOW CALLED THE MOUNT OF THE BEATITUDES…
and Jesus lays out all kinds of things that honestly…. Are pretty tough to live up to!
In fact… these things are so difficult to live up to… that’s there’s only been one person in all of history that’ been able to keep this perfectly….
Are you with me?
Picture this in your mind…. Jesus is on the mountain He sit’s down to teach and…, The crowds of people are there… and Jesus disciples came to him……
CAN YOU IMAGINE? WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE TO SIT AT THE FEET OF JESUS IN THIS PLACE…
AND HEAR HIS WORDS IN REAL TIME JUST AS HE IS SPEAKING THEM…
The warm sunshine on your face.. maybe a slight breeze blowing…. The smell of the air as it comes to you from the sea of Galilee…. And the very voice and words of Jesus…
and Jesus says to them….
…unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20 (NASB)
He is letting the audience know what is expected of those who would be a part of his kingdom!
You’ve got to be even better than the Pharisees… and today we read Jesus said to “Be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect.”
You want to talk about a tall order!
The Pharisees were ultra-religious people… you couldn’t look at a Pharisee and accuse him of being a liberal… they were ultra and extra religious…. And these guys had rules around their rules…..that they followed to try to keep the law and keep the Sabbath day Holy…
And Jesus says to them…. If you’re not more righteous than those guys… you’re just not gonna make it!
If your angry with your brother … you’re over the line,,,
If you even look at a woman with lust in your heart… you’re guilty of adultery… don’t divorce (except for marital unfaithfulness)
Let your yes be yes and don’t lie… Don’t resist an evil person but instead give to the one who ask’s you….
And today He says…. LOVE YOUR ENEMIES! ….
And Right off the bat….. I want you to know that the context of what’s happening
Jesus isn’t giving a message about how to keep all of God’s rules!
The message to his hearers….. is so much bigger than that!!!
Christ has come …. And by His death, burial and resurrection….. He can make our righteousness surpass even that of the Pharisees!
That’s where we’re going! ….. but let’s back up just a bit shall we?
Love your enemies….
Biker Truck Driver Café Story…..
A truck driver is sitting in a crowded roadside diner ready to eat his lunch. It’s not just any diner and any lunch. It’s his favorite diner on the road and his favorite lunch. Just as the waitress brings the truck driver’s meat loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans to his table, a motorcycle gang swaggers in the door. Most of them seat themselves at the table next to the truck driver but there’s not room at that table for all of them. The gang members left standing turn to the truck driver and bark, “Move! We want that table!”
The truck driver calmly says, “I haven’t finished my meal.” One of the motorcycle toughs takes his dirty finger, swipes it through the mashed potatoes and gravy, sticks his finger in his mouth and says, “Hey, not bad grub.” Another gang member takes the trucker’s cup of coffee and slowly pours it over the remaining food on the plate and snarls, “You’re finished now!”