A casual reader of the New Testament is somewhat familiar with Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in the gospel of Matthew or His Sermon on the Plain in the gospel of Luke. While not identical passages of scripture, both contain what some call the heart of Jesus’ teachings.
The part of the sermon examined in this post is in Matthew 6:25-34 and Luke 12:22-34. Again, these passages aren’t the same but close.
In these scriptures, Jesus says don’t worry about your life, your clothes, what you will eat or drink, anything. No one can add a single hour to life by worrying. But seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness. In Matthew, Jesus makes it unforgettably clear: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” In Luke, Jesus doubles down: “Sell your possessions and give to the poor…For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
If this is the heart of Jesus’ teachings, are these teachings in our hearts? No, really. Do we believe what Jesus says in this sermon? Do we live it? No beating around the bush. No saying, but what He really meant was something a little less demanding.
In another part of this sermon, after reinterpreting the law of Moses, Jesus says: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Well, He had to be exaggerating to make a point, because no one can be perfect as God is. He was probably exaggerating about the worry thing, too. I mean, who doesn’t worry?
We like to talk about Jesus’ love, His salvation, His divine nature, His oneness with God. Sometimes, Christians will fight each other and non-Christians about the virgin birth and the resurrection. Scripture means what it says. Are we sure about that?