Summary: A sermon that looks at the radical love of God and challenges us to try and imitate it.
“That’s the Way God Loves”
By: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor of East Ridge United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, Tn www.eastridgeumc.com
There once was a father who had to go out of town…
…away from his young family for three or four days on business.
Worried that his kids would drive his wife mad, he had a word with his oldest son, who was nine at the time.
“When I’m away,” he said, “I want you to think about what I would normally do around the house, and you do it for me.”
He had in mind, of course, cleaning up the kitchen, washing the dishes, making the bed, taking out the garbage, and helping to keep the other children in line.
When he got back from his business trip, the man asked his wife what the son had done.
“Well,” she said, “it was very strange. Right after breakfast he made himself another cup of coffee, went into the living room, put on some loud music, and read the newspaper for half an hour.”
The father was left wondering if his son had obeyed him a bit too accurately!
The shocking thing about this passage of Scripture is that we are told to watch what our Heavenly Father is doing and then do the same ourselves.
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Jesus tells us.
Well, yes, on one level it is.
But Jesus’ teaching isn’t just good advice, it’s Good News!
Jesus did it all Himself and opened up the new way of being human…
…we are, after-all created in God’s image…
…so that all who follow Him can discover it…
…discover how and who we were created to be in the first place!!!
When they mocked Jesus, He didn’t respond.
When they challenged Him, He told quizzical, sometimes humorous, stories that forced them to think differently.
When they struck Him, He took the pain.
When they put the worst bit of Roman equipment on His back—the heavy Cross on which He would be killed—He carried it out of the city to the place of His own execution.
When they nailed Him to it, He prayed for them.
These Words of Jesus from Matthew Chapter 5 aren’t just about us.
If they were, we might just admire them as a fine bit of idealism, but then we’d probably return to our normal lives.
Jesus was talking about Himself.
This was the blueprint for His own life, and He asks nothing from us that He hasn’t faced Himself!!!
And within Jesus’ life we are shown what God is really like.
Jesus lived a Perfect Life on this earth, just as the Heavenly Father is Perfect!!!
This Scripture isn’t just about how to behave…
…it’s about discovering the Living God in the loving, and dying Jesus, and learning to reflect that love ourselves into the world that needs it so badly!!!
In bringing us to Christ, God isn’t just calling us to be God’s special people while the rest of the world remains in outer darkness.
We are called to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth.