Thursday, July 13, 2006

The End and the Beginning of the Jesus Perspective

Those sitting on the mountainside who heard the Jesus Perspective knew that there was authority behind what they heard that day. Matthew records that when the sermon was done, “…the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law” (Matt. 7:28-29). Mark says the same thing about those who heard Jesus teaching in the synagogue (Mk. 1:22). We must understand, then, as we come to the end of the Jesus Perspective, that it isn’t just another set of ideas to consider. My ideas are not on a level with Jesus’ teachings. Yours aren’t either. Plato’s wisdom, Confucius’ wisdom, Mohammed’s wisdom, all shrink into the category of foolishness when compared to the Jesus Perspective. Philosophers taught the Golden Mean, but Jesus taught the Golden Rule, and it is greater! Even the godly men Moses and Elijah are moved to the background in the glorification of Jesus as God said from heaven, “This is my Son, whom I love. With him I am well pleased. Listen to him.”

Jesus claimed authority. Matthew claimed he had authority. So at the end of the day, Jesus says that you can choose the difficult way that leads to life or you can choose the broad way that leads to destruction. There is no questioning what he means by the difficult way. It is his way as he has expressed it in the sermon.

In case the picture isn’t clear, he illustrates his final point with a story of two builders. One builder was wise. He built his home on a rock, and when the storm came, though it was ferocious, the home stood. One builder was foolish – a bonehead. He built his home on the sand, and when the storm came, because the foundation was weak, the home collapsed with a great crash!

Who is the wise builder whose home can withstand the ferocious storm? He is the man who hears the words of Jesus and puts them into practice.

When Jesus walked away from the mountain, maybe some said, “He’s finished. Let’s go home.” But it wasn’t finished for them. It isn’t finished for us either. Louis L’Amour said, “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” The words are completed, but the choice remains. Will you take the difficult road or the broad road? Will you build on rock or sand? Will you hear and do, or will you not? That’s Life at Work!

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