Nov 6th, 2017
In Matthew’s gospel, the Sermon on the Mount represents the new constitution for the people of God. If the new covenant describes the relationship between the believer and God through Jesus Christ, the Sermon on the Mount describes what the people living within that covenant relationship will look like. And it’s a very high ideal! The Sermon begins with the Beatitudes, eight pithy statements beginning with the word “blessed” that describe the state of being for those living in the kingdom of heaven. These are the qualities of life for the community which is formed around Jesus. But on the surface they are far from alluring! Poverty, mourning, meekness, hunger, purity, persecution – these are not qualities that we are naturally attracted to in this world. And therein lay the secret of the kingdom that the Beatitudes convey. They are not descriptions of how we are supposed to try and live our lives by sheer determination and will, but rather descriptions of the outcomes of those already living their lives in the kingdom of heaven here on earth. So are the beatitudes utopian values that we have no earthly hope of attaining in this life, or something else? That’s what we will endeavour to find out in this series!