WARNING - Work in Progress

WARNING - Work in Progress
WARNING - Work in Progress

Sunday, October 8, 2017

He is Up-Side-Down… – 10/8/2017


Matthew 5:17

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

Jesus is the Antithesis to Life.

Each of us think that life should be (or is) a certain way: we each have been raised to understand the world in a certain way from our variety of experiences.  Our parents, our teachers, our churches, our culture, our media, our education, and everything else make us believe what we presently believe and think about the world around us.  When Jesus walks into our lives he flips all that we know upside down.

Matthew 5:2-11
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

Jesus began his Sermon on the Mount with nine concepts of life that were radical to the mind of the Jew in his day; that would have been gospel (good news) to the people on the outside of the inner circle of the Jewish religious system.

Blessed are those who Mourn, for they shall be Comforted.”

In light of this last week’s shooting in Las Vegas, I think it appropriate to focus in on this verse.  How are the thousands of lives that are affected by this event to be understood?  In fact, how are we to understand the devastation of this event along with the destruction of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria?

In each of these devastations; the loss of life and property, the suffering and pain that people have experienced, and will experience for many years to come, and quite likely for the rest of their lives, will be felt.  How can people be comforted by Jesus?

John 14:6

“I am the way and the truth and the life.

In the light of devastations, all sufferings, and all that we’ve been told and believe to be true about the world, Jesus stands counter to them all. 

The world would have us believe that it is the proper way to understanding the reality of this world we live in.  But Jesus says that He is the way, not this world.  The Bible states in Ephesians 2 that outside of Jesus we are subject to the way of the Ruler of the Air (the devil).  However, Jesus said that He was the way if only we would accept it.

The world would have us believe that it is the truth, its variety of systems; rules and laws.  But Jesus claims that He is the only truth.

John 18:37
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.  Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

It is very hard to believe that Jesus rises above the pain and confusion that we feel in the midst of devastation.  When my father died of natural causes, I was terribly devastated inside and I was angry that God allowed it to happen.  But as I mourned my loss I slowly realized that it wasn’t God that killed my dad, it was the ruler of this world of sin and death that did it.  Did this realization take away my pain?  Certainly not, but it helped me to categorize it in my brain and place the blame squarely where it belonged.

John 8:32

32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

When devastation comes, everything seems to revolve around death in our world.  The world is full of wars, genocides, cancer, acts of terror with its bombs and mass shootings, overdoses, suicides, and the list continues, but in light of it all stands One who claims to be life.  Jesus, is the antithesis to the fake way of this world and its false truths.  The death and devastations that affect us all every day, that want to drown us in sorrow and despair are contrasted by the Word that became Flesh who is named Immanuel – God with us  (Matthew 1:23).  Against all that the world would have us believe, the poison cool-aid it offers us to drink, Jesus stands offering us water that refreshes and heals.

John 7:37-38

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

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