Tag Archives: Sermon on the mount–interpretation

  1. Do unto others as God does unto you: life in God’s Neighborhood, part 3 (Matthew 7.12) [sermon 2-10-2019]

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    February 19, 2019 by jmar198013

    Most everyone knows the so-called Golden Rule (Matt. 7.12): “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But there’s a very important word we tend to leave out: “Therefore.” That word connects how we treat others to how our heavenly Father treats us (Matthew 7.7-11). Using God as our standard means using our imaginations, asking questions, and remembering God’s mercies toward us.

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  2. Seek first God’s Neighborhood and righteousness: life in God’s Neighborhood, part 2 (Matt. 6.33) [sermon 2-3-19]

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    February 3, 2019 by jmar198013

    The second message of three on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 – 7) from our series in Matthew’s Gospel, “God’s Neighborhood.” This message focused on Matt. 6.33, and what it looks like when we seek first God’s kingdom (neighborhood) and his righteousness.

  3. Don’t lead us into temptation (Luke 11.4c) [Sermon 09-04-2016]

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    September 1, 2016 by jmar198013

    One of the passages Jesus drew upon when the devil tempted him was Deut. 6.16: “Don’t test the LORD your God the way you frustrated him at Massah.” This refers back to an event that happened in Exodus 17. The people came to a place where there was no water, and were afraid God had left them to die of thirst. They lost faith in God, and were about ready to kill Moses. Testing God means refusing to trust that our Father is good and generous and just, and at work in our lives and in his world. It means giving up on God and going our own way. If Jesus had succumbed to any of the devil’s temptations: turned the stones to bread; enforced his will through political means; or stunned people into submission with self-promoting miracles; if Jesus had done any of those things, he would have been testing God. Because that’s not the way God had made for him. God gave Jesus the way of suffering with people and serving them. Not the way of self-promotion and self-service. Jesus still had to go through the Exodus of death and resurrection. To lead us all through the Red Sea of his blood to set us free, and bring us to the home God has promised us.

  4. Real talk on vulnerability (2 Corinthians 4.1-15; Matthew 5.13) [Sermon 06-05-2016]

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    June 3, 2016 by jmar198013

    The vulnerable places in our lives don’t have to be places of shame or blame or anxiety or endless frustration. They can be the very places where God’s awesome power pours into our lives, and baptizes every bit of us in his transforming grace.

    A wise old rabbi named Bob Dylan once said: “Ain’t no use jiving, ain’t no use joking: everything is broken.”

    A few years later, another wise old rabbi named Leonard Cohen answered: “There is a crack in everything: that’s how the light gets in!”

    According to Paul, that’s how the light gets out, too.

  5. Glorified by love (John 13.31-35)

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    April 23, 2016 by jmar198013

    A few hours before he was arrested and executed, Jesus told his followers: “Everyone will know you are my disciples if you love one another as I have loved you.”

    He didn’t say everyone will know his disciples by their right doctrines, their fancy buildings, their cutting-edge programs, their animatronic Noah’s Ark exhibits, their wealth, their fancy worship productions, their politics, or their family values. He said everyone will know his disciples by their love.

    And since people are prone to say and do all kinds of things to each other and call it love, Jesus put an even finer point on it: “Love each other as I have loved you.”

    How has Jesus loved you?

  6. The Word became flesh . . . (John 1.1-18) [Sermon 1-3-2016 Christmas 2c]

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    January 2, 2016 by jmar198013

    “The Word became flesh and dwelled among us” means that God has skin in the game. Always has, always will.

    The church’s job is to be–like Jesus–God’s skin in the game. In the life of the church–the body of Christ–the Word is to become flesh again and again.

  7. Reading the Bible with Clean Hands (Mark 7.1-8, 14-15, 21-23): Sermon 8-30-2015

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    August 31, 2015 by jmar198013

    In Mark 7.1-23, Jesus did something stunning: He boldly declared that people had misunderstood an entire chapter of the Bible (Leviticus 11). Now if there’s anywhere you can make the “Bible clearly says” arguments, it would have been the dietary laws of the Hebrew Bible. Jesus offers a radically revisionist interpretation of them. Why can’t we read the Bible like Jesus?

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