Summary: This service is a January sermon series focusing on learning more about Christ and what he was about.
Psalm 15:1-5 NIV
A psalm of David. LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? 2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart 3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, 4 who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, 5 who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.
Matthew 5:1-12 NIV
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them, saying: 3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
“The Light Revealed: as Meek and Mild”
This past month, we’ve spent a lot of time pouring through the prophets, learning more about Jesus Christ. If we are to truly be his followers, if we are to follow his lead, we need to know where it is he is leading us. That is why we should always continue to spend time in the Bible discovering the character and call of our Lord.
Today, we step out of the Old Testament, and into the New Testament: the book of Matthew. To finish our series we will no longer look at what other people have said about Christ’s ministry… we hear from Christ himself.
The text is one of Christ’s most familiar sermons. We know it as the Beatitudes, the sermon on the mount, or… if you’re in Luke: as the sermon on the plains. This comes early on in the book of Matthew… chapter 5. It is Christ’s first sermon… his first public address in Matthew. It is also his longest speech in the entire book of Matthew.
THIS… brothers and sisters… is Christ’s “Inaugural Address.” We know Inaugural Address well in our culture because of the Presidential Inaugural Addresses.
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
What does the Inaugural Address do? It sets the stage for what this new leader is going to be all about. It tells the people… this is the direction we are going. THIS… is Christ’s “Inaugural Address.”
Finally, the savior has come and it’s time to set his agenda. Would it be war? Would it be rise to power? Would it be time for all good followers to glorify themselves and see themselves exalted? Perhaps, but not in the way we expect.
He gives them… the Beatitudes… which means “blessings.” Not a bad way to start your leadership… tell them how they will all be blessed! But it is a very strange list of blessings:
1) Poor in spirit (humble) = Kingdom of Heaven
2) Mourn = comfort
3) Meek = inherit the earth
4) Righteous = filled
5) Merciful = mercy
6) Pure = see God
7) Peacemakers = sons of God
8) Persecuted = heaven
9) Insulted = rewarded (like a prophet)
Not the kind of list most people would want to find themselves on. Like we’ve said over the past several weeks, Christ’s message went against everything they had hoped for, and for this reason alone it was often rejected. Now, his opening statements to his followers, his “Mission Statement”… comes out: “If you wanna be blessed… you have to be humbled, you have to be meek, you have to mild, you have to be subservient, you have to be unprivileged, you have to put all others before yourself. THAT, is what I’m about. Not quite as inspiring as “We have nothing to fear.” But, what else was Christ going to say? This is exactly what Christ, and his ministry, is all about.
This sermon… this “Inaugural Address” sets the stage for the entire gospel of Matthew. Matthew uses these words to set the agenda for the rest of his Gospel. And why not? Christ used these words to set the agenda for the rest of his ministry… for the rest of his life! Christ hopes his followers will use these words to set the agenda for there own life. However… the bible tells us flat out that his followers didn’t get it. A few got it much later on, but some of them never got it.