Proverbs 27 11-27-21

Jesus said that His words will never pass away (Matthew 24:35). Sounds important. Maybe we ought to read them…

5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. Jesus is our Friend; He is Faithful.

In order to understand the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, we must begin at the end,

28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. Matthew 7:28-29

Of course, we know that Jesus was (and is) God in the flesh (Emmanuel), which is why He taught with authority. They didn’t, though, and were being introduced to this new way of looking at things. That new way is through the eyes of Jesus concerning the Father, His plan for Israel and the Gentiles, and for the course of humanity. Let’s look at how Jesus personalized, expanded, and refocused the Scriptures according to the New Covenant that He was about to introduce.

Now when Jesus saw the crowds [and had compassion on them (Matthew 9:36)], He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. And He [God in the flesh] opened His mouth [He created the universe with His words] and began to teach them, saying,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The kingdom of heaven belonged to the people of God, which was Israel, yet Jesus expanded that group to everyone who was poor (recognized they were bankrupt) in spirit. The religious leaders of the day thought that they were fine spiritually because they “kept” the law.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

“Blessed are the gentle [meek], for they will inherit the earth.

How we treat our fellow humans is important to God. In fact, He promises the earth to all who treat them as He treats them.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Justice was the order of the day; mercy was for the weak. Jesus changed the tone of the law by stressing mercy and forgiveness rather than justice and vengeance. “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:13

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

The religious leaders were not interested in peacemaking, which is another term for uniting folks. They maintained power and control (and probably money) by keeping the Jews separate from the Gentiles and the religious leaders from the regular folk. Also, violence wasn’t beneath them…

10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus was changing the terms of righteousness (in their eyes). It was about to no longer be about sacrifice and ritual, but about allegiance and relationship with Him. What they didn’t realize was that they only had a shadow of true righteousness. They were looking at the righteousness of God in a Person–and many missed Him!

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Up until now, the Law was the all-important sword upon which to fall; Jesus was now saying that He was that sword. Jesus offered a great reward in heaven for His sake. Only God could guarantee that, which was the point.

As we can see, Jesus was changing the direction of everything that the Jewish people had believed for several centuries. He really was starting a revolution, a revolution of grace.

Abba, it blew my mind the day I was made aware that there are tiers to the many parts of the Bible, and Jesus made it clear that I am to place His words above all others. So, Lord Jesus, I pledge myself to You once again to read everything else, whether Scripture, devotional books, fiction books, etc. through Your eyes and Your discretion. May I be sensitive to Your Spirit on these matters. Amen.

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