Through the Bible in a Year – June 23

The scheme for May – June can be found here

1 Ki 7; Mat 7; Psalm 70-71

Perhaps it is in Matthew 7 that the sermon becomes its sharpest. Who for example even desires to avoid judging others? Jesus famous joke about the mote and the beam illustrates beautifully our human predicament. We are tuned to see the flaws in others whilst we are blind to our own faults and failings. We see someone choking on a gnat whilst we are trying to swallow the proverbial camel.

Jesus story tells us that we have far more work to do on our own hearts than any assistance we might usefully render to others. Truly it is a narrow gate, the gate of wholehearted obedience to the primary command of Jesus – follow me. Our lives are meant to bear fruit – to bear witness to the Life of Christ in us.

Jesus then closes out the sermon with the clearest expression of what we have been thinking on these past days. ‘Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of m father in heaven’. To Know Jesus is to be identified wholly with him – living as he lived purely for the Kingdom of God.

When we begin to grasp the fullness of that Kingdom, we will know that it is such a huge realm, that our lives are readily swallowed up in it. Perhaps our problem with disobedience is that we think so little of the Kingdom of God?

‘Everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them . . .’

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