Living Upside Down
This week I've been studying some of Jesus' very famous words. They come from his sermon that we Christians call The Sermon on the Mount. In particular I'm looking at the beginning section which we call the Beatitudes.
When it comes to this message I think sometimes we can get pretty confused. I have gone to many different events, particularly men's events, where Jesus' words are set up as this unattainable standard... that Jesus is painting a picture of the perfect person. But since none of us are perfect that is why we need to give our lives to Jesus. Now, I believe none of us our perfect... and I believe all of humanity needs to give our lives to Jesus... But I think we're doing something very bad with this text when we do that. Why?
Because Jesus never says that we can't do this.
In fact, the text actually points to the opposite. Jesus' words point to the fact that we can live this type of life!
We can deal with anger, lust, immorality, false promises, revenge, hate.
Jesus actually says this in Matthew 5:48 "You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
WHAT?!?!? Did he really say perfect? Jesus says the call of his being his follower is to strive for perfect.
Is that even possible... because we know the Bible says that we all have sinned and we all fall short of the glory of God. On this side of heaven, perfection is unreachable.
I think the trick to this is how we read the Beatitudes. As Christians we are called to live in a way that is very different from the rest of the world. We are live UPSIDE DOWN. If the world says to be self-reliant, Jesus says to be poor in spirit. If the world says to be important, Jesus says to be meek. If the world says to take care of yourself, Jesus says to be merciful. If the world says to be competitive, Jesus says to be peacekeepers.
This is not a blog post with the answer to how to do this... this is a blog post challenging myself with the question "Do I live upside down?" As someone who loves Jesus and follows him, does my life reflect the pursuit Jesus talks about, the pursuit of perfect? Those are some great questions.
If you want to know the answer I'm coming to, then don't miss this Sunday's message. Join us Greenbelt Sunday morning at 10:30 or check it out later in the week online. I'm still letting this passage speak to my heart and getting more excited about the answers I'm getting :)