The Sermon on the Mount: A Beginners Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven Dr. Amy-Jill Levine Abingdon Press 2020
Like salt, the purpose of our works as disciples is to point the world to God, or point out God to the world.
Remember What We’ve Built:
In the Beatitudes, Jesus is calling His disciples to examine ANY power they may have (physical, happiness, authority, spiritual contentment, etc) and show them how to lay it down for the sake of others to find greater blessing in the journey.
- The Torah is a fence teaching that protects the Image of God in each human, and Jesus builds a fence around the Torah (and the Image-ness) that drives this point further.
Jesus assumes His disciples will be praying and giving to charity.
- Jesus prays in public all the time, people give publicly all the times, so there is something else here to know.
- Too much salt AND too little salt are both disgusting as well as potentially harmful to the health.
- “Any faith that does not manifest itself in works is not faith; it is complacency and self-satisfaction…Disciples are to glorify God by being their true selves: salt and light; existing for others rather than for only themselves and doing works prompt others to do the same.
- The action of the disciple should be light and salt to the earth and the world, not just to those inside their own house.” (Loc 1069)
- The Conclusions:
People should know we are disciples but they should know because they see God more fully through us and our actions.
- Our public prayers should point to God’s presence. Prayers that point to ourselves are fine IF they are done when no one is watching except God.
- Our giving should point to God’s gracious provision through the gathered community.
- The best level of saltiness amplifies what is already there, just as our best actions amplify that God is already there to a people who have not met God yet.
- In his book Velvet Elvis, Rob Bell calls disciples to be tour guides showing off God’s works.
- The ultimate goal is for the disciple to “disappear” completely so only God is visible.
Call to Action and Response:
Do you pray? Do you give: time, talents, gifts? If not, why not? How could you change? If you’re looking for a way to get started, message us!