The Sermon that gives us all another way of life…
Today being Tisha B’Av the jewish fast day that commemorates some of the saddest chapters in Jewish history, including the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (twice), let it be not just the anniversary of the destruction of the first temple of Jerusalem and also of the temple of Solomon and the dispersal of the Jews to the four corners of the world — but let it be the reason that the Abrahamic faith was spread out to the Peoples all around the whole world.
And that is a fitting time to hear about the Sermon on the Mount, because Jesus was teaching an alternative wisdom that shakes up the social order instead of upholding the conventional wisdom that maintains it.
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is “breaking down” the old temple and rebuilds a better one in its place.
His Sermon is not about preserving the status quo, but destroying it and causing us all to rethink what’s all about living here on earth.
He wants us to believe that we must live here & now, as if the Reign of God has already begun (see Luke 17:21).
Because in this “Reign” the Sermon tells us, the poor are blessed, the hungry are filled, the grieving are filled with joy, the meek shall inherit the earth and of course all of our enemies are loved.
Indeed, the “Sermon on the Mount” ives another view towards what a well lived life is.
And it does that because it represents the culmination of this great teacher, but also the whole distillation of his essence.
And that makes this the one — the absolute Jesus’ greatest rabbinical teaching in totality.
This particular teaching from the rebellious Rebbe, is not only great, because it bookends his Life’s culmination of teachings, but also because it is the least understood and the least quoted Scriptural speech of the Son of God — the intended Messiah.
Now, we must be honest and admit that most of post-Judaic Messianic Christianity has focused very little on what Jesus himself taught – instead of what he spent most of his time doing. That was and still is his business of healing people, doing acts of justice and inclusion, embodying compassionate and nonviolent ways of living, and bringing the PEACE of an understanding heart into all of us…
Therefore I am rather grateful because our spiritual father, delivered the Sermon on the Mount in such a supplicating way, prayerfully and meditatively in the same serious way that he had spent his life trying to imitate the Father of us all.
Likewise, Christ’s followers, especially in the beginning, tried to imitate Jesus and that is why his apostles thrived and spread the gospel to the seven seas, the five continents and to the many millions of human hearts, around the world.
Very much like his fellow apostles St Paul, went amongst the Greeks, the Romans and the Gentiles and offered a simple return to the Gospel as an alternative lifestyle more than an orthodox belief system, and that is what got him in trouble with the old Jewish leaders and their suzerain masters — the Romans. Because Saul (Paul) had not heard the Sermon first hand, but it was related to him by the other Apostles and that is why he took it to heart more than anyone else…
He understood that the Sermon on the Mount was not just words for the groups of people that came to know God after Jesus was gone from this Earth…
He asked people to stay focused on including the outsider, on loving your neighbor, on preferring the folks at the bottom of the pyramid to the toppers of wealth and power, he sponsored a renewed commitment to nonviolence, and he choose to project social poverty and divine union over any private perfection or sense of moral superiority.
At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us this short but effective image so we will know that we are to act on his words and live the teachings, instead of only believing things about God:
Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise person who built a house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built a house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined (Matthew 7:24–27).
Today I understand the Sermon on the Mount as the foundational plan for living a good life, for being a good person, as also for following Jesus’ rabbinical teachings, and that being a blessing to other people’s lives ought to be our a miraculous healing Life’s ultimate goal.
Live and let live should be replaced with “Love and let Love.”
Love is All.
Because this the essence of the Sermon on the Mount — Love — and that means that we shall always and forever be Loving as we also strive to be the peacemakers all around us.
The Sermon’s admonition is that we are trying to lead a good life — and with Love and Grace we shall succeed.
It means that the Sermon on the Mount, defines the social principles of our current society, culture, community and even church… from the get go to today and tomorrow in an unending chain of Cause and Effect.
It means that living a well lived good life is the most astounding things that can ever happen to us.
And it means that when you start living this way, as Jesus asked of us — you start performing the works of mercy and then miracles follow you.
It also means that you become a Rabbi in the line of this messianic Jesus whose gospel can be found in the Synagogues, in the Christian churches and in all the Temples of worship — as an unalienable truth.
And lastly it means that your living this way into this world — is a thing of healing and recuperative joy.
And that the kingdom he brought into the earth, so that we do not despair of death loss and destruction like the temple of Jerusalem and its people experienced time and again…
God Bless You all.