Sermon On The Mount – Week 23

We’ve made it to the conclusion of The Sermon. This concluding tripartite (three parts) is going to continue in the theme of makarios-ness (flourishing) through teleios-ity (wholeness) — only now there seems to be an added sense of urgency in light of potential missteps and mishearing.

This whole section has a thematic thread of “two ways” that weaves its way through all three metaphors. Jesus is speaking with an eschatological tone (talking about the end of all things). But this shouldn’t surprise us — Remember the Beatitudes? They set the tone with their theme of this ‘kingdom-coming reversal — And remember the Lord’s Prayer? That’s filled with beautiful eschatological language.

But above all — It is vital that when we approach these next few weeks that we remember Jesus’ teaching… It is NOT those who merely obey externally or appear to be righteous who are in God’s kingdom. But rather those who actually DO have a righteousness that surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees. Another way to describe this is “those who do the will of God.”

The two ways that Jesus describes in our text this week are true and false prophets. Jesus warns that there are prophets who may say all the right things and even perform miracles, but their lives do not produce fruit. That is, they do not do the will of God. Jesus infers that these types of folks are both deceivers and deceived.