Plan Be

I remember while on walkabout arriving at the spot where historians believe Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount.  The smallish hill lies outside of Capernaum, Simon Peter’s hometown, along the west shore of the Sea of Galilee.  As we hiked from Capernaum, the heat overwhelmed us, and soon we were looking for anything we could find to slake our thirst.  Along the road we stumbled upon a grapefruit orchard, and the fruit couldn’t have been riper. The temptation was too much to resist. My buddy and I grabbed a fruit from a tree in each hand, and we sat down where Jesus spoke.  (Never mind that we were stealing!)

The opening words of Jesus’ sermon are called the Beatitudes.  The power of the Beatitudes may first be found in the shock of reading them.  Jesus redefines the blessed life, the “Good Life” as we may call it these days, in a way no one else would.  The “Good Life” is seeing your spiritual bankruptcy?  Mourning?

Ever since he spoke these words people have been debating what Jesus was getting at. Many suggest that Jesus was giving his commentary on the Law of God.  Rabbis often taught by giving their personal take on the Law.  The verses that follow the Beatitudes leave little doubt as to whether Jesus was doing that.  Others have suggested that Jesus gave us the Beatitudes to show us our need.  How can anyone who reads Jesus’ words not honesty feel they miss the mark?

More than anything, I believe the Beatitudes reveal Jesus.  Jesus did not come to present another way of life.  He came to show himself to us.  Then he said, “Come and follow me.”   I’d rather find the right prescription, or better a silver bullet, or at least a rule that I can follow. I want a plan I can work.  I’d like goals and milestones to mark my progress.  Instead, God gives us grace in and through a person.  He gives us Jesus.  In our community groups we’ll be looking at the Beatitudes not as a list of goals but as characteristics of Jesus that we receive and learn by grace as we pursue him. That’s what we’ll be doing together: pursuing Jesus.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Sandy on August 8, 2018 at 2:02 am

    “Follow Me.” So simple. We make it so hard.


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