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Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Sermon on the Mount Archives

A Good and Beautiful Life

posted by Scot McKnight

Not that long ago I blogged through the first volume of James Bryan Smith’s The Apprentice Series. Volume two, The Good and Beautiful Life: Putting on the Character of Christ (The Apprentice Series) , is now available and I’d like […]

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What is wisdom?

posted by xscot mcknight

As a child in Sunday School we lustily sang the always boisterous song, “The Wise Man Built His House on the Rock and the Foolish Man …”. The song was acted out, and our favorite part was falling onto the […]

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Talk about closing a sermon

posted by xscot mcknight

Very few sermons close off as forcibly as the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus summons people to follow him, and the way he does this is to clarify the sort of followers he has in mind (beatitudes), the salt and […]

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Follower or Fraud?

posted by xscot mcknight

How can you tell if a prophet is true or false? Jesus has a very simple solution: “By their fruits you can recognize them” (Matthew 7:15-20). False prophets deceive in appearance but inwardly are ferocious wolves. Fruit, Jesus says, is […]

How narrow is that gate?

posted by xscot mcknight

There are, the famous opening lines of the Didache state, “two paths: one of life and one of death, and the difference between the two is great.” These were some of the lines I was asked to translate when I […]

The Jesus Creed Lite

posted by xscot mcknight

All of the Torah and all of the Prophets, Jesus says, are summed up in this simple golden rule: “do to others what you want them to do to you.” Allison says no one called this the “golden rule” before […]

Does persistence pay in prayer?

posted by xscot mcknight

The famous “ask-seek-knock” (ASK) passage — is it teaching persistence or not? And is it saying that persistence will pay off with answered prayer? I doubt it and I doubt it. Instead, I think this passage (Matthew 7:7-11) teaches simplicity: […]

Hogs and Dogs

posted by xscot mcknight

The little parable of Jesus’ about the hogs and dogs, in Matthew 7:6, can be read as a context-less saying or a context-ual saying. “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; do not throw your margaritas [Greek word […]

Sharp eyes, dulled awareness

posted by xscot mcknight

Humans, Dale Allison observes, have an “inbred proclivity to mix ignorance of themselves with arrogance toward others.” Jesus spoke of this with the image of the “speck” and the “log.” Jesus intends to be funny and serious, to jab at […]

Are you judgmental?

posted by xscot mcknight

Fewer texts have been used more than Matt 7:1: “do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Sometimes this text is used properly; other times it seems that Christian folks use the text to encourage all of us not […]

Birdwatching Spirituality

posted by xscot mcknight

What Jesus taught from watching birds has troubled me for some time. I wonder how you explain it. Before I say anything, let this question be asked because this is what troubles me: in what sense is it true that […]

Master Mammon

posted by xscot mcknight

It ought to be fairly easy to see that one cannot serve two masters, as Jesus states in Matthew 6:24. It ought to be, but it isn’t because the human worship-system contain an ever-ready capacity to steer off course. Parents […]

The Eye of Generosity

posted by xscot mcknight

It is pretty easy for Christians to skip along reading “the eye is the lamp of the body” and not give one ounce of consideration to what is being said: How, we should be asking, can an eye be seen […]

Treasures: Here or There?

posted by xscot mcknight

Jesus is both pragmatic and utopian in Matt 6:19-21. In a day when wealth and riches meant oppression of the poor and a day when poverty, if handled properly, meant piety, Jesus summons people to follow him who will trans-evaluate […]

Hastening the Kingdom

posted by xscot mcknight

Fasting at the time of Jesus had nothing to do with health, and everything to do with hastening the Kingdom of God by physically embodying one’s intense yearning for God to establish his will. Fasting also had to do with […]

Short Prayers

posted by xscot mcknight

Contextually, in the Sermon on the Mount the Lord’s Prayer illustrates “short prayer” in contrast to Gentile verbosity. In this sense, Matt 6:7-15 interrupts the flow of the principle established in 6:1: doing things to be seen by others shifts […]

Conspicuous Prayer

posted by xscot mcknight

Matt 6:5-6 is the second example of the principle of “no footprints” found in 6:1. It concerns prayer and its central idea is simple and profound: let not our prayer lives be “conspicuous prayer.” We all know what “conspicuous consumerism” […]

Tooting your Giving Horn

posted by xscot mcknight

The principle of 6:1 is now fleshed out for “almsgiving” — the Jewish practice of compassion on the poor and needy. After the Temple was destroyed, almsgiving was sometimes depicted as a replacement for sacrifices. The word for “almsgiving” in […]

No Footprints

posted by xscot mcknight

Matthew 6:1 is the theme verse for Matthew 6:2-18. In fact, 6:1 is the principle and 6:2-18 contains three examples. What we find in 6:1 pertains to giving, to praying, and to fasting. The theme or the principle of 6:1 […]

Loving the Other-ed One

posted by xscot mcknight

Way back in November, I shut down a series on the Sermon on the Mount to get ready for Advent and Christmas. Today I want to resume that series. Today we look at Matthew 5:43-48. Most know this passage as […]

Pacifism instead of Revenge

posted by xscot mcknight

Here it is: in Matt 5:38-42 Jesus summons those who want to follow him to a radical way of life. They are to avoid, at all costs, seeking revenge. Jesus sets it up by quoting Exod 21:24 (or its other […]

Being honest

posted by xscot mcknight

One of my children was in the habit, as a child, of saying this: “I mean it.” When challenged a little more: “I really mean it.” And when a little more: “I really, really mean it.” Which means, when saying […]

Taking a stand for marriage

posted by xscot mcknight

For me, the most important thing about a happy marriage is that husbands and wives be best friends — with no serious rival to that friendship. Kris and I have been married for 32 years; we were grade school sweethearts […]

Taking a stand for fidelity

posted by xscot mcknight

As Jesus revealed that murder begins with anger, and that murder is expressed in anger, labeling, and damning, so Jesus contends in his summons for others to follow him that adultery, too, is a matter of the heart. The physical […]

Redefining Murder, Advocating Reconciliation

posted by xscot mcknight

Jesus redefined murder: if murder was defined in the Torah as we do most of the time (taking another person’s life), Jesus boosted it. For Jesus, “murder” includes anger and labeling and damning others. But, this text cannot be applied […]

Surpassing whom? or what? and when?

posted by xscot mcknight

An alarming statement by Jesus: “Unless your righteousness/justice greatly surpasses the righteousness/justice of the Scribes and Pharisees, you will never ever enter into the Kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:20). Does Jesus really think his followers are to be “better” than […]

Do we follow the Torah?

posted by xscot mcknight

Not according to Jesus, but this all hangs on what “follow” means. In the passage we need to look at today, Matthew 5:17-20, Jesus makes an astounding claim. He did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but […]

Being a story

posted by xscot mcknight

It is pretty easy to get trapped into wondering in what way the followers of Jesus, who are in part listed in the Beatitudes (Matt 5:3-12), are to be like salt and like light. Perhaps like salt we are to […]

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More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Jesus Creed. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog ...

posted 11:15:58am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Our Common Prayerbook 30 - 3
Psalm 30 thanks God (vv. 1-3, 11-12) and exhorts others to thank God (vv. 4-5). Both emerge from the concrete reality of David's own experience. Here is what that experience looks like:Step one: David was set on high and was flourishing at the ...

posted 12:15:30pm Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Theology After Darwin 1 (RJS)
One of the more important and more difficult pieces of the puzzle as we feel our way forward at the interface of science and faith is the theological implications of discoveries in modern science. A comment on my post Evolution in the Key of D: ...

posted 6:01:52am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Almost Christian 4
Who does well when it comes to passing on the faith to the youth? Studies show two groups do really well: conservative Protestants and Mormons; two groups that don't do well are mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics. Kenda Dean's ...

posted 12:01:53am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Let's Get Neanderthal!
The Cave Man Diet, or Paleo Diet, is getting attention. (Nothing is said about Culver's at all.) The big omission, I have to admit, is that those folks were hunters -- using spears or smacking some rabbit upside the conk or grabbing a fish or ...

posted 2:05:48pm Aug. 30, 2010 | read full post »

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