This summer we’re studying one of Jesus’ most famous sermons, the Sermon on the Mount. Pastor Glenn shares two principles of Jesus’ ministry that stand out to him while reading through the Sermon on the Mount.
TWO PRINCIPLES OF JESUS’ MINISTRY THAT STAND OUT:
LESS IS MORE
At the end of the sermon, we find these words: The crowds were astonished at His teaching for He was teaching them as one who had authority and not as their scribes (Matthew 7:28-29). It’s the principle of LESS IS MORE. When I’m preparing to teach or preach, I often tell myself be precise, simplify, clarify, this is too much. It’s as if each word spoken by Jesus is weighed for impact and planted for precision. Something too wordy crowds out a Holy Spirit interjection, and I need Holy Spirit promptings to allow what I’m reading to read me.
GOING FOR THE HEART
The Scribes and Pharisees were masters of minutia – you took too many steps on the Sabbath, you failed to observe the feast of Passover with unleavened bread, you put a comma when there should be a semicolon. In contrast, Jesus focuses on the heart – So, how are you at loving your enemy? Is worry dominating your life? Are you trying to serve two masters? How’s that working for you? When Jesus says multiple times, “you have heard that it was said, but I say unto you . . .” He is looking directly at my motives, the intentions of my heart. GOING FOR THE HEART requires that I check not only what I said or did, but why. When I toy with temptation or yield to it, the question I ask myself is Why did you go there? This takes me to the heart issue before the act.