Matthew 7:28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
As Matthew brings the Sermon on the Mount to a close, he gives us the mood and the sense of the environment when Jesus had completed His teaching. Those who heard Him teach were astonished at His teachings because He spoke as one who had authority and not as the other teachers of His day. He spoke with clarity. He spoke truth. But, He did so with great passion and love. This was the kind of message that you would either love or you would hate depending on your spiritual position.
If we needed to we could sum up the entire message of the Sermon on the Mount with one phrase. We are people of the Kingdom. And, if we are people of the Kingdom then we need to learn the lessons of the Sermon on the Mount and then begin to make application of these truths in our lives. Therefore, if we are people of the kingdom then we should do the following not out of quilt or to punch our good deeds card but because we love God and we desire to honor Him with our lives.
When you are a member of the Kingdom of God there is an understanding that we should live and act differently. As Kingdom minded followers of Christ, we should be setting the tone in our communities, on the job and in our personal relationships. We should be the most trusted and respected people around not because we are in some way special or better than anyone else but because we allow the light of God to shine through us and it is He who draws people to us. But, too often the society in which we live dictates who and what we will be. But Jesus reminds us that:
- We are salt and light (Matt, 5:13-16). We are called by God to make an impact in our community and in the sphere of influence we may have.
- We are the light of the world. We do not have to become light; we simply allow the light of Jesus to shine through us. As we are in His word and in pray God will begin to transform us into His image.
When we are a member of the Kingdom of God we should live within the margins established by God. By margin I mean that we do not see how close to the line we can live and not get hurt but we understand the line and take two steps back. In many cases the concept of margin applies to the business of our lives but that term applies here as well. Do we leave enough of a margin in our lives to provide protection and safety?
- How we treat others (Matt. 5:21-26; 5:31-32; 5:38-41; 5:43-48;7:1; 7:12-14). How do you treat others? Do you treat as you want to be treated or do you use them and abuse them? When living in God’s margin we treat others as we would want to be treated.
- How we handle our thoughts (Matt. 5:27-30)? Do we allow unhealthy and destructive thoughts to guide our lives or do we take every thought captivity for the glory of God (
- How we keep our word (Matt. 5:33-27). Can you be trusted? Do you follow through with what you have committed to do? If not, are you willing to admit that you can’t and seek release from the commitment?
When we are members of the Kingdom of God our goal must be to please God and not men.
- The way we give (Matt. 6:1-4).
- The way we pray (Matt. 6:5-14).
- The way we fast (Matt. 6:16-18).
The problem with the religious leaders of the day they were more interested in what people thought or how they were perceived in the community rather than putting weight in what God thought of them. In all we do, we do it to please God and know to receive the praise of men.
When we are members of the Kingdom of God we must trust in God for our sustenance and the provisions of our needs.
- We will lay our treasure up in heaven (Matt. 6:19-24).
- We will seek the Kingdom of God first (Matt. 6:25-34).
When we are members of the Kingdom of God we will put into practice what we have learned.
- We will be obedient to God’s Word (Matt. 7:15-20; 21-23).
- We will build on the solid rock (Matt. 7:24-27).