Immediately after the introduction of the sermon on the mount—the joyful beatitudes—comes the great missions statement of Jesus, making his disciples salt and light in the world, Mt 5.13-15. Here is where the joy starts, in fulfilling the purpose of God for our lives in the world. This is how the sermon proper starts, with mission.
Why does Jesus need to tell his people to shine? Continue reading
Glancing, skimming, surfing. That’s what we do today, mainly. And that lack of focus makes us superficial. We surf spiritually as well. We skim Scripture with quick takes and verse-sized bites. We turn to the visual as often as possible, to the detriment of the audible.
But the Bible emphasizes — and in the plan of salvation we rightly highlight — the need to hear. “Hear, O Israel,” was the instruction from the Lord. Paul reminded the Romans, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” Rm 10.17 ESV. If we see anything, we ought to see the words of Christ in the pages of Scripture. Continue reading