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Sermon on the Mount Archives

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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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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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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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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: […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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