Thank you for joining me this week. Our goal here at “Friends of Jesus” is just that to get back to the teachings found in the words in red.
To begin with today I would like to look at the greatest sermon ever preached, the sermon on the mount. In the beginning of the sermon Jesus tells us what kind of people he wants us to be. In Matthew 5:3-12 he says “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see good. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of god. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
These beatitudes (as they are called) stand in stark contrast to many of the worlds values. Jesus tells us blessed are the meek. The world tells us tells us to be strong, independent and to take what you want. Jesus says that is not the way. He says it is better to be humble instead of arrogant. It is better to have God lift you up than to lift yourself up. If you lift yourself up you may become overly proud and it my become necessary for you to be humbled. I have been humbled a few times and it is never pleasant experience. I pray that I need to be humbled again but being human my pride will probably win out once more and God will need to humble me once again.
Jesus also tells us how developing these Christlike beatitudes will meet with opposition in the world. We can take heart for if we are persecuted for righteousness or for his name he says great is our reward in heaven. We who humble ourselves before God will not be forgotten. We will have our reward in this life or the next. Even if we see no rewards in this life we are assured rewards in the eternal life that follows. Jesus himself gave us an example of humility for us to follow. He was and is God, But he humbled himself to live a life as a man. He died a painful death on a cross for us even though he didn't have to. He died so that we might live. He is lord of all but he is a servant to all. In John 13:4-20 Jesus again demonstrates that we are to serve each other as he served. He humbles himself to such a lowly task of washing the disciples feet. This was a task for slaves, not for the son of God but Jesus was giving us an example to follow. He wants us to humbly help others in anyway that we are able. To give others the help they need even when we feel that the task is beneath us. If God can lower himself to wash his friends feet why can't we? Not that you need to go around washing everybody's feet, just that you should never consider helping others to be beneath you. Even when the help needed seems demeaning if it is necessary, you should not shirk in giving the help that your your neighbor needs.
Another example that Jesus gave us to follow concerns the children of the world. Jesus has always shown that he has a special place in his heart for children of the world. In Matthew 19:13-15 some people brought some children to see Jesus. His disciples thinking that the great man had no time for children, rebuked the people who brought the children to see Jesus. Jesus responded by saying “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Then he placed hands on the children and in blessing. In Mark he adds to that by saying “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of heaven like a little child will never enter it.”
Lets look at this. Children know they are not strong, that they need help. Children also know that they are not perfect and that they make mistakes. They also look at the world with a sense if wonder. It is all new and amazing to them. They always want to know why. They always ask why and don't act like the know it all. They are loving. They are trusting and most of all they are innocent. These are the things that Jesus meant. Not that we should abandon what we know and become children but that we should adopt a child like attitude when approaching God.
Further more Jesus also said “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” Mark 9:37 He says the same in Matthew 18:5. So not only are we to become like children we are to love them, welcome them, and bring them to Jesus! In Matthew 10:42 he says that if we even give a cup of water to these “little ones” we will not lose our reward in heaven so children are very important to Jesus, and they should be to you as well.
Well that is all for this week. Please join me nest week for more teachings of my lord, my savior, my friend, Jesus.