Imagine you were part of a revolution that was going to introduce a new society. This new society was guaranteed to outlast all previous and future societies. Unlike past World powers that may last a couple decades or even several hundred years, this new community would last for eternity. It would have no end. This revolution which would introduce this new community was not some hopeful utopian dream or even wishful thinking of what our World could become, it was in reality something that did happen through the death of Jesus on the cross.
For hundreds of years the prophets in the Old Testament prophesied about a coming King and a new Kingdom. When Jesus started his earthly ministry some of the first words out of his mouth was that this new kingdom was now near. It was not a kingdom that would begin hundreds of years later or even a kingdom that was only saved for Heaven. When Jesus spoke of the Kingdom being near he was speaking of a kingdom that would begin on this present Earth. Jesus was starting a new community and he was the king. So what would this new community look like that was different than all other communities and World powers? It would look like the Sermon on the Mount.
Over the next couple months our Agape family will be pouring into this famous sermon by Jesus. Our goal is not to simply read through Matthew Chapters 5-7 so that we can mark it off as another tasked completed. Our goal is to be more like the Kingdom Jesus called us to on Earth. The plan for us is that Jesus words might become real and practical in our lives. We want to understand both from the head and the heart which leads to the feet. Let me encourage you to take your time as you work through this message. Write things down. Spend time meditating. Ask God for help when you do not understand something. Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you in areas where you fall short and where you need to repent. Finally make sure to share with others in your Agape family as you go through this journey. God wants to transform us. We are the new community that will last forever. The revolution has begun!
“Jesus was not just a moralist whose teachings had some moral implications; he was not primarily a teacher of spirituality whose public ministry unfortunately was seen in a political light; he was not just a sacrificial lamb preparing for his immolation, or a God-Man whose divine status calls us to disregard his humanity. Jesus was, in his divinely mandated ( i.e… promised, anointed, messianic) prophethood, priesthood, and kingship, the bearer of a new possibility of human, social, and therefore political relationships. His baptism is the inauguration and his cross is the culmination of that new regime in which his disciples are called to share.”
John Howard Yoder