The most epic speech of humankind has got to be the Sermon on the Mount, by far.
The more I learn and study it (& the Bible as a whole)the more I’m dumbfounded by how thick the carnage is. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some amazing speeches that seem to have hit closer to home and inspired me . . . with the use of the Bible(or even without), as a direct result to proximity of context both chronologically and culturally. However, the beatitudes have this subversive authority to it. I don’t know, perhaps I sound like a bit of a jack-ass but it’s got this potency about it that makes me walk away feeling like there’s more . . . like I’m not quite getting it all. While at the same time, chronological and cultural context don’t seem to matter. But then I can’t help but wonder if it was intended to be merely a good speech? Meaning, Jesus is kicking off this bad-ass revolutionary ministry with this brilliant speech engagement in front of people from all backgrounds. What if he where to have simply walked away at that point?
a few cool public appearances + epic oratorical performance = legendary leader/safe life
. . . for me, and the masses listening & following Jesus, the power & credibility was in more then just his oratorical deliverance, but where and how he took it to the streets or into the depths of life, the gutters, the front-lines. It’s unfortunate really, we seem to have compartmentalized the “good news” (aka gospel), into a tighty package where Jesus is about a safe way of living and his message is reserved for an after life . . . when in reality it was wicked fierce at challenging, confronting, and even undermining the social norms, predominant religion, and government of the day that has direct application right here, right now! . . . an alternative Kingdom. SICK! It was so full of hope, it brought a revolution of love that said no, we can’t sit back and do nothing, we can not roll over or settle for anything that saps the life out of us or binds us, not even physical death.
What is it about leading people to these depths that seem so difficult? What are the things in our culture that may keep us from living out these words?