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Christian Biblical Studies
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down.
His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.
– Matt. 5: 1, 2 –
The sound of the Master’s voice has little to do with creed, for there are many who disagree on theological details but who agree on Christ as Saviour. His spirit permeates what He taught. Although the Gospels implicitly teach deep truths, Jesus kept His language simple enough so that the common people could follow what He had to say. He told them how much His Father loved them and spoke of forgiveness and the Kingdom of Heaven.
We can see how the Sermon on the Mount would have been well received by many in His audience. What joy it would have been to sit on the grass, even if only at the outer margins of that assembly, to hear the Master speak. Attending to it now in written form and having the leisure to devote oneself to a quiet study of it, in a quiet hour, we can find truths buried in it which probably eluded those who were really there. Such is the value of historical Scripture, in that it transcends time and place and, as a sacred conduit, carries the living words of the Master to us here in the end of the ages.
As His friends – what a blessed title is this to own! – we recognise the Master’s call because it synchronises with our need. Conscious of our sin and penitent of heart, we know the antidote when we see it. Christ fits the shape of the contrite heart in all its bitter sorrow. ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’ (Matt. 11:28). And, oh, what rest this is!
July-August 2018. no copyright.