This July I will be preaching a series on the Sermon on the Mount, a sermon which contains the beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer, and the key tenets of Christian discipleship and ethics. It is a sermon that has been admired for millennia by both Christian and non-Christian alike.
But what exactly did Jesus teach, why is it important, and why should you care?
Increasingly, the culture around us tells us that “there is only one way of life – and that is our own,” that each of us is to have our own philosophy, our own way of finding purpose, meaning, fulfillment, and happiness.
“And what is wrong with that?” you may ask. Does not the constitution itself state that we have a right to the pursuit of happiness? Yet how is happiness actually found, and why is it so fleeting and difficult to keep a hold of?
The answer is that we are often looking in the wrong places and relying on the wrong things. For as the Sermon on the Mount teaches us, happiness, or “blessedness”, is not found through human means, nor through wealth, pleasure, recognition, or success, but through our relationship with Jesus Christ.
This is a blessedness, a peace, that is not dependent upon our circumstances or what is going on around us, but rather on what God is doing in us. It is, as Paul taught, “the peace that transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). It is the peace, the happiness, that protects us from temptation, insecurity, and anxiety. It is the peace that enables us to place Christ at the center of our lives and enables us to love and care not only for our friends, but also for our enemies.
It is a peace that only comes from Jesus Christ – a peace that He is offering to you.