Simple Obedience - Matthew 5, 6, and 7

Simple Obedience - Matthew 5, 6, and 7

C. J. Wright wrote concerning Jesus:

“There is, then, a basic simplicity about the moral teaching of Jesus which reflects the same characteristic of the Old Testament. This is not, of course, to say that obedience is easy. There is a commitment, a cost, a challenge. There is precisely the struggle against tempting alternatives that Jesus himself faced and recognized as idolatrous and satanic. What it is saying is that obedience ought not to be complicated, either by the competing claims of other gods (the moral maze of polytheism), or by the confusing rules of human experts (the moral bondage of legalism). You get the feeling in reading the Gospels that the common people heard Jesus gladly and responded to his invitation to enter the kingdom of God, not because he made things easy (quite the opposite), but because he made them simple.” (Knowing Jesus Through The Old Testament, pg 190, Logos edition).

When Jesus preached what we refer to as the Sermon on the Mount, the people were astonished. Mark could ‘summarize the preaching of Jesus in four terse phrases: (see Mark 1:15).

·        The time is fulfilled

·        The kingdom of God is at hand

·        Repent

·        Believe the good news.  

Yet, there stands behind each of the phrases a depth of ideas. But see, I have already introduced complications!

The time is fulfilled – all the promises that God had been making since the Garden was now upon them. The promised child of Abraham? The promised seed of David? The coming Savior of Isaiah? The coming kingdom of Daniel – the time was fulfilled!

The kingdom of God is at hand. God IS the eternal king. God has from the beginning ruled in (over) the kingdoms of men. God rules even though men deny such and rebel against it. With the coming of Jesus and man’s reconciliation, God’s rule is here.

Repent. How does this rule of God happen? Through repentance! God has provided and we are now called to repent. God demands that ALL MEN EVERYWHERE repent (Acts 17:30). John preached this. Peter preached this (Acts 2:38). Paul preached this (Acts 17:30). Jesus preached this!

Believe the good news. Not just hear it. Not just believe it is true, but TRUST IT, let it guide your life. Let your life be lived by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. No longer live by YOUR rules, but by the faith of Jesus.  Hear ye HIM. Obey Him. Be a wise man and build your house upon the Rock: hear His words and do them (Matt. 7:24), do the will of the Father and be saved (Matt. 7:21). Is God ruling in your life? Is Jesus your Lord and King?  

Hugh DeLong