Summary: The third message in a series from "The Sermon On The Mount" dealing with the effects of our attitudes.
INTRODUCTION: Have you ever heard something that you thought to be truth, and possibly even told someone else what you had heard, only later to find out that it wasn’t true? It was just hear say ! I remember eating pop rocks when I was a little boy. You know those little hard candies that began to explode when they mixed with the saliva of your mouth. I stopped eating them because I HEARD that a little boy ate some and drank a Dr. Pepper and blew his stomach up! Boy was I mad when I found out that it was all just a bunch of hear say! I catch up now eating them with my oldest son.
Recently on the news, a story was released that P.O.W. Jessica Lynch was taken prisoner, but she went down fighting - killing several Iraqis before being taken captive. Later, she was interviewed and told the truth. She said her gun had jammed and she had no choice but to set and watch her fellow soldiers be killed by Iraqi gunfire.
I find it very concerning when I begin to think about how much of our religious beliefs are based on hear say, tradition, folklore, and habit.
That’s what today’s message is about. Jesus is going to challenge us to weigh out every belief that we have based on truth, not hear say. Let’s take a look at today’s text:
1. JESUS DID NOT COME TO ABOLISH TRUTH BUT TO CLARIFY, AND FULFILL IT (v 17-19)
(A) THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT IS NOT PROTOCOL TO SALVATION
Jesus begin this part of the message by saying that He isn’t against the law, not did He come to do away with the law! HE CAME TO FULFILL IT! The purpose of the law was never meant to save us! It’s purpose was to show us our desperation when trying to reach perfection. The law’s purpose was to cause us to cry out to God for help. JESUS IS THAT HELP! That’s how he fulfilled the law. The law did it’s purpose in condemning. Jesus does His part in forgiving. The sad reality is that you have a bunch of haughty believers that think that if you aren’t perfect you can’t be saved! Jesus wasn’t teaching that at all. He is attempting in these next 30 or so verses that we all stand condemned. We have a need for a Savior, not self righteousness.
(B) JESUS ISN’T TEACHING US TO OSTRACIZE OR CONDEMN THOSE TRYING TO SERVE GOD.
I think that it is very sad that people will take the Sermon on the Mount and use it to condemn and ostracize God loving and God fearing people. If you are so Godly that you begin to belittle everyone else, I think you better make sure that you got what you think you got! We all fail miserably in our attempt to please God.
For far too long we have beat up God fearing people. I feel the church owes a hurting, imperfect world an apology. Sometimes in our haughtiness we use verses where Jesus is trying to show all of us our need for Him, we tend to look around and say, "Yea, ya’ll need Him real bad!" And forget our own desperation for a kind and merciful savior.
I understand that there must be guidelines for leaders in the church! But there are people who have been forgiven that are still condemned. We must be careful not to be too concerning toward perfection when picking our leaders. Otherwise, no one would qualify.