"Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount."
-- OMAR BRADLEY (1893-1981) US general
This post ends Jesus' Sermon on the Mount as found in Matthew 5-7. I've covered most things from the final chapter, but there were two teachings I wanted to bring up before moving on to chapter 8.
First is a reminder of how important is it for us to ask, seek and knock. I'll just copy the verses here since they say it all better than I could.
7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
9"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."
It seems Jesus wants us to remember how good and gracious God is. He is not some stingy Being who will give us snakes and rocks when we need fish and bread to eat. If you feel your diligent asking, seeking and knocking is not working, I encourage you not to give up! Trust in God's goodness in meeting your needs.
13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
My Quest study Bible has this to say about this passage:
"The narrow road and narrow gate symbolize the challenge presented by the way of the kingdom. It's a road of suffering and self-denial, not the path taken by the majority."
If you go back and review all the teachings from chapters 5 through 7 then think of all the people you know who are truly living this way maybe you'll get the idea. How many of us go the extra mile, don't harbor hatred or lust in our thoughts, love our enemies, seek first the kingdom of God and store up heavenly treasure rather than hoard earthly possessions?
Remember Jesus says those who hear these sayings and put them into practice are the wise ones who will stand when the storms come.
Next time...chapter 8!