Am I blessed?

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Chapter 5 of Matthew Gospel has a title that usually says something like “Sermon on the Mount” or something similar.  Whether we see it primarily as preaching or teaching or just Jesus spontaneously sharing wisdom one things is clear–this was heavy stuff!  This was not a feel-good , follow-me-and-everything-will-be-great message.  There was no hint of Jesus just saying what the crowd wanted to hear or trying to be careful so as not to offend anyone.  Jesus touched on some hot button issues and laid out some principles for life that are among some of the most important distinguishing marks of those who follow Christ, as opposed to those who follow any other number of religions, including Christianity. Brief tangent : There is, I believe, a clear and distinct difference between those who claim to be “Disciples of Jesus Christ” and those who claim to be Christian.  A disciple can rightfully be called a Christiain , but with a Christian we can never be sure is such a person is truly a disciple.  Are they really walking?  Listening?  Obeying?  I’m not the one (and neither are you) to judge on this, but we should at least acknowledge that the distinction is real. Okay, so to start this time of teaching Jesus talks about people who are blessed or those who will receive great blessing.  Who are they?

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Am I blessed?

Standard
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Chapter 5 of Matthew Gospel has a title that usually says something like “Sermon on the Mount” or something similar.  Whether we see it primarily as preaching or teaching or just Jesus spontaneously sharing wisdom one things is clear–this was heavy stuff!  This was not a feel-good , follow-me-and-everything-will-be-great message.  There was no hint of Jesus just saying what the crowd wanted to hear or trying to be careful so as not to offend anyone.  Jesus touched on some hot button issues and laid out some principles for life that are among some of the most important distinguishing marks of those who follow Christ, as opposed to those who follow any other number of religions, including Christianity. Brief tangent : There is, I believe, a clear and distinct difference between those who claim to be “Disciples of Jesus Christ” and those who claim to be Christian.  A disciple can rightfully be called a Christiain , but with a Christian we can never be sure is such a person is truly a disciple.  Are they really walking?  Listening?  Obeying?  I’m not the one (and neither are you) to judge on this, but we should at least acknowledge that the distinction is real. Okay, so to start this time of teaching Jesus talks about people who are blessed or those who will receive great blessing.  Who are they?

Continue reading