THE GREATEST SERMON EVER – Intro to Lesson 2 – January 18 – 25

Do like crowds?  Why is it that some people find it exhilarating and even energizing to be with large groups of people?  Some people do not want to miss out on any of the thrill and enthusiasm of being where the action is actually happening.  In contrast there are many folks who do their best to avoid being with the masses.  They become uncomfortable or even irritated when the room is too full of gregarious individuals or the intensity of the interaction is too great. There are times, however, when an event or performance draws people of all ages and personality types.

Early in Matthew’s account of the life of Jesus, he tells us that even though Jesus had purposefully gone up on the mountainside just with His disciples, the people followed Him.  They listened that day to one of the most penetrating, most insightful messages that has ever been set before an audience.   Matthew tells us that “when Jesus had finished saying these things the crowds were amazed at His teaching for He taught with real authority and not as their teachers of religious law”.  That day Jesus began to explain to His followers about how His Kingdom operates. What are the attitudes and actions that characterize it? He wanted to explain to His eager listeners what the “Kingdom of Heaven” is like.

Today we know this speech as “The Sermon on the Mount”.   Perhaps it is as counter-cultural today as it was to those who first heard it.  How eager are you to listen and learn from Jesus, the King, about His Kingdom?  How seriously do you want to take His guidelines for living your life as He describes it? 

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