Daily email Number 367 – from the Vicar

Welcome to Monday and a new working week (for some!).
We reach the end of our journey through the Sermon on the Mount and finish with the last 2 concluding verses, Matthew Chapter 7 verses 28-29.
At the end of this long and challenging sermon, which Christians have always revered, as well as those from other faiths or from no faith, the crowds at the time are simply amazed at what they have heard.
They must have been amazed at the content which as we have seen has included the Beatitudes, a deeper interpretation of the OT law including the instruction to love our enemies, the Lord’s prayer, commands to not store up treasures on earth, not worry, not to judge, and to enter through the narrow gate.
But these verses also indicate that they were amazed at Jesus’ authority when He taught, which was different from their usual religious teachers.  Their teachers were passing on the accumulated wisdom of other rabbis down the ages, Jesus was bringing something fresh and new, in a sense direct from heaven, which begins to point to who He really was, the Son of God.As a Bible teacher myself I too have no authority of myself, but I can and must point you and others to the One who has all authority in earth and heaven.
And Bible teachers down the ages can earnestly point people to the Word of God, and say, ‘this is the way, walk in it’, but we are always conscious of our own failings and frailties, and that we often fall short or disobey, even though we know it is right.  However, when Jesus spoke out even His most challenging teaching the people knew then, and we know now, that He alone could obey it perfectly, and that is another reason why He taught as one with authority.
And as I said right at the beginning of this series, and several times during, the SotM is immensely challenging, as well as being completely counter-cultural, we will struggle to keep it, and so we go to the Teacher Himself, who is also our Saviour and Lord, and look to Him, and depend on Him. 

In our prayers today let us remember,- Robert & Jan, on holiday this week, please pray for a refreshing time away together- Tina McGowan, having a camera procedure at the hospital this afternoon, please pray for the Lord’s peace for her, and all will go well.

Day off tomorrow, back on Wednesday with something different.

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