Show Notes

Welcome to Episode #148 of Way of the Bible podcast. This is our fourth of eight episodes in our nineteenth mini-series entitled, The Vineyard Owner’s Son. 

At the end of this episode, we’re going to hear Jesus in the remainder of Matthew Chapter 5 as he teaches lessons that have demonstrated over the centuries to be Hard to Follow even within the church. The lessons address the topics of Divorce, Oaths, Retaliation, and Loving Your Enemies. 

As with prior episodes in the mini-series, my hope and prayer for you is that you would reread these passages on you own this week while practicing some form of prayerful meditation and contemplation. You can use the prayer practices taught by St. Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises, others prayer practices suggested by proponents of Lectio Devina, and/or other spiritual formation prayer practices. 

The most important thing is that you learn not from me about what these passages say but allow Jesus through the Holy Spirit to be your teacher. Allow the living word to come alive in your heart, mind, soul, and strength as the love of God pulses through and energizes you by the power of the Holy Spirit given just for this purpose.

We have not come to believe and base our faith on a dead God or an inanimate statue or an idol of our minds. We believe and have been born again into a living hope made possible by Jesus our Lord and Savior who rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Jesus was glorified upon his return to heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father. He is 24/7 interceding on our behalf and praying for our continued fullness of his presence in our lives. 

The sequence of events surrounding the death of Jesus, him being falsely accused, condemned, crucified, buried, and raised from the dead by the Holy Spirit, was a cosmic game changer. “Literally.”

Before we get there though, as believers we must stop listening to naysayers, deniers, unbelievers who refuse to believe in God because they’ve heard he’s angry and vengeful. Or believe in a God who chooses people for salvation. Or believe in a God who allows people to make their own choice which results in them being condemned to hell.

We all were one of these unbelieving naysayers before we came to saving faith. We all came to know it was not because of anything we did but by God’s grace that he plucked us out of the world, granted us repentance and saving faith, had us reborn in the kingdom of God by the Holy Spirit, adopted us as his children, and given us the Holy Spirit to indwell us and be our comforter and guide along the WAY to union with God. 

Please bear with me as I unpack some passages you need to “hear” before listening to what Jesus is saying in his Sermon on the Mount discourse. In this discourse, Jesus is speaking of what life in the kingdom of heaven is supposed to look like. But first, we need to know how we went from living in the world to living in the kingdom of heaven/kingdom of God. And what happens to everyone else…

To the surprise and disbelief of all in heaven and all on earth God demonstrated in the fullest terms possible the capacity of his name. God declared his name to Moses as he passed by while Moses was standing on a mountain side. Exodus 34:6-7The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

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