The King's Speech王子的講道
When he saw the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
耶穌看見群眾，就上了山；他坐下之後，門徒來到他跟前，他就開口教訓他們： 「心靈貧乏的人有福了， 因為天國是他們的。 哀痛的人有福了， 因為他們必得安慰。 溫柔的人有福了， 因為他們必承受地土。 愛慕公義如飢如渴的人有福了， 因為他們必得飽足。
Have any of you ever been lost before? I don’t mean just when you are trying to drive to Taipei and take a wrong left turn, but have you ever been somewhere and you have no idea which way is North, South, East, or West? There was a time when I lived in Colorado, and we went on a spiritual retreat. One day during the retreat they had us go out by ourselves into the mountains to have a day of silence and solitude. So I took off. I walked and walked, trying as hard as I could to be silent(that is hard one for me), and pretty soon I began to look around and nothing looked familiar. This was before smart phones, so I was simply lost. The worst part of being lost is you don’t know that if you continue this direction you could just be getting more lost. I began to look around, walking back, trying to retrace my steps. That’s when I saw a familiar rock, this huge rock that was right by our retreat center. That rock became my “true north”. I just kept walking towards that rock, and sure enough it led me home.
Church family our world is lost. Our culture is lost. We are confused and getting more and more confused. We’ve been asking this very important question: “how to stay devoted to Jesus in an age of distraction?” If you are like me maybe you have watched a little too many YouTube videos and you have this feeling of just being confused and lost. When we live lives of distraction and are pulled away from Jesus’ words, we are like me walking in the forest getting more and more lost.
Currently there are so many issues that seem to be confusing or even divisive in the church today. I remember when I first became a Christian I would sit and have debates about the sovereignty of God, or the power of the Holy Spirit, but now I see that the debates have changed. Maybe you’ve experienced having arguments with Christians over whether or not to wear a mask? Maybe you have had arguments over vaccination? Maybe as you have engaged with people you feel confused and lost. Scripture tells us that God is not a god of confusion. He’s not. He doesn’t seek to confuse His children. Maybe you aren’t confused but maybe you feel fear. This oppressive fear. You’ve heard stories or statistics, or watched a documentary and you struggle with this constant feeling of fear. “what if?” “what if?” I can sympathize with how you might feel. It is so easy, like we talked about weeks ago, to get slowly pulled away from the words of Jesus, and we find ourselves drowning in a sea of confusion and fear. But Scripture tells us that God has not given you a spirit of fear. That fear is not from God.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
The word “sound” means “self-disciplined” basically a disciplined mind. So in a culture that is lost, in a world that is confused, is swimming in fear, as disciples of Jesus we are called not to fear, but to have a sound mind.
How do we do that? How do you say no to the distractions around you, to the confusion, and say yes to the Holy Spirit?
Show compass. This is a compass. It would have been really helpful when I was in the forest. So no matter where you are in the world, you no where North is. Church family we need a compass. We can not run the risk of just getting swept away in confusion and distraction. What is our compass? The bible. The words of Jesus. That is why we are taking a journey through the sermon on the mount. Jumping right in. No matter what we believe about mask wearing, about vaccinations, about politics, Jesus’ words are our “true north”, His words tells us how to be devoted disciple in the age of distraction.
Let’s begin by taking a 30,000 foot view of the sermon:
Starting with Matthew. Matthew is writing this Gospel to mainly Jewish Christians. His message overall in this Gospel is to say Jesus is your long awaited King! And His Kingdom is what you all have been waiting for. Jesus is the fulfillment of all the promises of God!
In this sermon on the mount, we have to remember Matthew’s point is Jesus is the fulfillment of what you’ve been waiting for.
Church family we are just like these people aren’t we? These Jewish Christians as they were surrounded by persecution or by social pressure. As they saw the victories and wealth of the Roman Empire. They had to be reminded, that all of their longings, all of their needs, are fulfilled in the person of Christ. Let me ask you a question? What do you long for right now? What are searching for? It could be just some peace and quiet if you are doing online school with your kids. Maybe you are searching for a job situation to be handled. Maybe you are looking for a spouse! What Matthew brings us, reminds us, is that ultimately, what we are looking for, what we need, is completely found and fulfilled in Jesus.
We’ve been talking about discipleship lately. How do we make disciples? I am sure that many of us have used different discipleship studies or books. But for the early church the Gospel of Matthew was used as their discipleship curriculum. So no matter if you were a Roman, a Jew, or in the mystery cults, once you came to faith in Christ, you would go through the book of Matthew in order to be formed as a disciple of Jesus.
And much of the sermon on the mount would be memorized. Right now we got lots of bibles
Mark how many bibles do you own?
I have so many! That is a good thing! But the early church didn’t, so much of the Gospel of Matthew, and the sermon on the mount would be memorized. Again being that compass in our hearts and minds that as we go about our day we are led by the words of Jesus and not by the confusion of our culture.
AS we approach the sermon on the mount there are several different ways to interpret it. Which category would you fall in?
Just Do It: Jesus fully intended that his followers would receive the promises and actually live out the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount [early Church].
Just to Convict: The SotM raises the bar impossibly high (“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect”) in order to convince its hearers/readers of their need for salvation through the grace of God in Jesus Christ [Post-Reformation].
Just Your Attitude: Jesus never meant for us to literally follow the SotM; rather, he “intends mainly to give directions and principles, and especially to inculcate attitudes or motivations” [Early Modern Protestant].
Just Not Yet: This is the kingdom ethic that will be practiced during the future millennial reign of Christ, after his second coming [Dispensational].
Mark when you have thought about the sermon on the Mount, how have you interpreted it?
The sermon on the mount describes how citizens of the kingdom of God live under the rule and reign of their King. (repeat) You can see, the kingdom of God puts forth a vision of what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus.
BIG thing to remember! We are not saying that these are things you do IN ORDER to become a citizen of the KOG. You think about me living in Taiwan. Just because I speak Chinese, I eat some Taiwanese food, I wear my pajamas to go take the trash out, that doesn’t make me a Taiwanese citizen. I have to be granted citizenship. It is the same here. Just because you might live out some of these truths doesn’t mean you are a citizen of the Kingdom of God. What Jesus is describing here is not just a bunch of deeds that seem righteous, but actually the life of a heart that has been made righteous.
Up until this point in Matthew, Jesus’ ministry has been preaching and healing. These are all signs of the kingdom. Miracles, people being set free from demonic oppression these are all signs of the kingdom of God.
I just read a statistic this last week that said that 48 percent of Taiwanese describe the relationship with China as hostile, up from 32 percent in 2017.
What that means is this: people are becoming more and more aware of how the kingdoms of this world are being shaken. With the recent Covid outbreak along with this statistic, our neighbors are feeling, maybe you are feeling, the shaking of earthly kingdoms.
Question to Mark
Matthew says in 4:25 “large crowds followed Him..”
Matthew tells us that the ministry of Jesus, the power of Jesus is drawing people from all over the place. He says Judea, Syria, Galilee, beyond the Jordan, and a place called the Decapolis. Why is that important? Why does Matthew mention these groups? Because all of these people were seeing their earthly kingdoms being shaken or shattered. the Jews had experienced this, the Romans had experienced this, and people are flocking to Jesus because His Kingdom, is doing what none of the earthly kingdoms could do.
Mark if I had to ask you what you think people want most out of life, what would that be?
“When HE saw the crowds” what did He do? This is really important. Jesus wasn’t a showman, trying to pout on a show to draw the crowds. Jesus loved the crowds, Jesus ministered to the crowds, Jesus wept over the crowds, but when HE saw the crowds forming, what did He do? “He went up on the mountain, sat down, and His disciples came to Him”
This is the setting for the sermon on the mount. I love what Jesus does here, because HE wasn’t just seeking the crowds but HE was seeking disciples. Men and women who would obey His teachings and follow
The King 王子
The King 王子
Earthly king theme vs. Jesus king theme:
God has a King His name is Jesus and His Kingdom is eternal, unstoppable, and we are invited through repentance and faith to live as citizens of that kingdom.
Kingdom of God is available for everyone. I have a place in God’s kingdom. Not even get to the beatitudes.