On Monday night we began a trip through the Sermon on the Mount. Here are the notes:
The Sermon on the Mount is one of the places we get a block of Jesus’ teaching. The teaching is first of all addressed to his disciples. He’s going to tell them how to be and how to live.
Who and what is a disciple?
The disciple as the close follower… See Mark 4:1-2, 10-11, 34-35. Point–Be alone with Jesus. Stay close.
The disciple is someone who has attached themselves to Jesus with the intention of learning what he teaches. Stay close, and he will explain everything to you.
Matthew 7:21-28 – Pictures of things that are not discipleship, for the larger crowd to think about:
v.21 the contrast here is between saying and doing.
22-23 a new perspective from Jesus’ mouth: “whether or not you did these things doesn’t matter. What matters is two things: 1) I never knew you. 2) you practiced lawlessness.
Truth 1: The disciple of Christ doesn’t content themselves simply to say things about Jesus, or to do spiritual things which impress others. They also want to make sure they truly know Jesus (12:50) and that their lives are not full of things Jesus would call “lawlessness.”
v. 24-26 The contrast here is between hearing and not responding and hearing and doing. Hearing the things Jesus says is not enough to prevent collapse. Jesus calls us to “doing”–the “doing” here is like a building project: diligent attention to detail. You “build your house” on Jesus teachings. The collapse of the house refers to two things: First, without the teachings of Christ we tend to build lives that don’t stand up under the stress of life. Second, we cannot stand the final “storm” of the judgment of God—ultimately, without a life built on the teachings of Christ, we will be judged and sentenced forever under God’s wrath.
Truth 2: The disciple is not content just to hear and know some things Jesus said. They decide to build their entire life on his teachings by hearing to know to do. This is what “staying close” means now. It also means a life of prayer to speak to him and be spoken to.
v. 28-29 Jesus’ teachings will astonish. Jesus has authority greater than any other religious teacher.
Truth 3: The way to move from someone in the crowd to a follower of Jesus is to come into contact with his teachings and let your astonishment move you to begin a life of finding out what he has said and putting it into practice.
Christians typically call this very beginning of being a disciple “believing”—because that’s the bible’s way of getting to this truth: when you encounter the teachings of Jesus, and are impressed by the authority they command, you must then decide to bring yourself personally under his authority. But you won’t bring yourself under his authority unless you also come to trust him. And Jesus calls you to do exactly this—Trust him as your only hope of rescue from the consequences of the lawlessness you have practiced. This trust is exactly the same thing Christians mean when they talk about “faith” and “believing.” Believing in Jesus means you trust him, and therefore you trust the things he says about himself: that he is the true authority and judge of all people. If you trust him this way, you’ll become a follower, a disciple.