The last word

th-1

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. Hebrews 1:1-3

Any questions?

This is a statement of finality, is it not? Jesus has had the last word. Jesus Himself has stated that all the law and the prophets can be summed up into one thing: love. Love God … and love your neighbor. That’s it. Do this and you will be fulfilling the whole law and the prophets. Jesus didn’t just summarize; He replaced.

The words of Jesus in the red letter Bible are red because they are the last words from God. In these last days God has spoken to us through His Son. The words of Moses are not red. The words of Isaiah are not red. None of the words of the major and minor prophets are red. The words of Peter, James, John and even Paul are not in red. Not in any of my Bibles and not in yours.

The words of Jesus should take precedence over all other words. Yet I would venture to guess that the words of Jesus are the least known in most churches today. The Sermon on the Mount — three chapters of red letters — would be new news in lots of churches. I grew up in the church and I did not take the Sermon on the Mount seriously until after college. Aside from the Beatitudes, I didn’t even know it was there, and yet the Sermon on the Mount is distilled from all of the teachings of Jesus. Don’t you think we would be the most familiar with these words? But we are not. I can clearly remember leaving large portions of the red letters in my Bible alone because they were hard to understand. They didn’t go along with my culture. They were countercultural. They were countercultural when Jesus first spoke them as they are today. They killed Jesus over these words. That’s how radical they were. They are no less radical today.

Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are the spiritually bankrupt. Blessed are the losers. Blessed are those who hit the wall. Blessed are those who hit bottom. This is about as hard to get to as Step One of the Twelve Steps, and yet it is the opening of the Sermon on the Mount. It is the doorway into the wealth of teaching that is Matthew 5, 6 and 7. If you can’t get beyond these opening words then forget the rest. This is the beginning of the red letters of my Bible. This is what the disciples heard day in and day out. Jesus didn’t just say this once on a mountain; He said it over and over again. Why don’t we know this like the back of our hand? Well get ready, because we’re about to.

This entry was posted in Red Letter Review, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The last word

  1. I remember sitting in Disciple bible study at church when those words hit me like a ton of bricks. Although I was well into adulthood by then, re-reading “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself — and then you have fullfilled all the laws”… wow! It was truly a revelation and completely changed how I thought…thank goodness!

  2. Mark D Seguin says:

    Loved Today’s Catch, simply because I understand how much I NEED the words of Jesus more in my heart & life!

  3. How are we to love the “unlovable”?
    We have all encountered people who seem downright unlovable. It could be the cranky person who never has anything good to say. It could be a nasty salesclerk or a driver who cuts you off in traffic. Our gut instinct is to dislike these people; however, we know that God wants us to behave differently. In Leviticus 19:18, we are commanded to “love your neighbor as yourself,” and by “your neighbor,” God means everyone, and by “love,” God doesn’t mean tolerate.

    [Theologians] teach that the sin that led to the destruction of the Jewish Temple… was the sin of “baseless hatred.” According to Jewish tradition, God said, “If you can’t live with each other, I won’t live with you.”
    The antidote to the sin of baseless hatred is “baseless love.”

    Baseless hatred means that a person hates another person for no reason — just because. And that’s exactly how we need to implement baseless love — just because! There is no reason. It may even seem unreasonable to love that person. But we love them just because.

    We need to stop looking so closely at other people and judging them. We need to remember that there is more to any individual’s story than we may know. We need to quit analyzing the behavior of others and just love. When we love others despite their flaws, we will feel God’s love for us in spite of our own shortcomings.

    Excerpted from Holy Land Moments Daily Devotional (April 13, 2018):
    “Loving the Unlovable” by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

  4. Wayne C Bridegroom says:

    Perhaps the finest work I have read regarding the Sermon on the Mount is The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard. The “blesseds” are certainly not the religious bigwigs of Jesus’ time. The “blesseds” are those left behind by the religious bigwigs – and that leaves room for the likes of me.

  5. Jesus Aguilar says:

    Good morning John and brothers and sisters.
    It feels so, so good to be part of and share openly
    Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32.
    Many years ago I was directed to open my Bible and read Matthew – “The sermon” Yes this is for me, The bottom was so hard that when I came back had no choice but ask for help and help was provided by people like me. Lost everything of any value (my perception) I was spiritually bankrupt totally and at the same time as was been blessed by my LORD AND SAVIOR. How cool is that? We call this state a “Pink Cloud” well twenty eight years later I am still riding the “Pink Cloud” Yes I am still under the care of a Loving God. Thank you Jesus, nothing else can replace you in my heart and in my life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s