MONDAY MINUTES, With Pastor Chris McCool (February 21, 2022)

We conclude our series from Elder Mike Ivey’s article on the Sermon on the Mount today. It has truly been enlightening and convicting to me; I am thankful for this dear brother’s efforts in examining Jesus’ sayings and applying them to our times. I pray you have been blessed by this article, and further pray that we all will go back to this portion of Scripture regularly in order to help us in our daily walk.

May the Lord bless you is my prayer.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor

A Contextual Summary of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Part 7)

by Elder Michael Ivey

III. Conclusion

Matthew 7:12, Golden rule: In his concluding remarks Jesus revisits the social orientation of discipleship, as true salt and light, in his church/kingdom of heaven. He does this by supplying ethical instructions, as the so-called golden rule, to God’s moral commandment that we love our neighbors. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

Matthew 7:13 Strait gate, narrow path: Jesus also notes, that although it is a difficult choice to initially make and there are difficulties to be faced along the way, nevertheless, believers should choose to pass through the strait gate and walk the narrow course of church/kingdom of heaven discipleship. The connotation of a strait gate means we cannot pass through if we intend to bring along all the baggage that accompanies worldly charms and cares when we join Christ’s Church/kingdom. The narrow path is a figure of the singular focus of devotion to God we as disciples must have in our daily walk. We must not allow the enticements and concerns of the world to lure us away or throw us off course from our devoted singular focus on serving God by being the salt and light of his and to his glory. The strait gate/narrow path analogy is consistent with Jesus’ parable of the sower and the seed recorded in Luke 8:5.  For various reasons, not many choose this course. However, those who do and who stay the course reap a rich bounty of God’s blessings.  Our duty to God is to maintain ourselves on the narrow path, which is the good ground where, being settled and steadfast, we “bare fruit, an hundredfold.”

Matthew 7:24-28 Wise/foolish: Jesus ends the Sermon by stating and applying God’s definition of wisdom. The wise are those who choose to enter through the strait gate and walk the narrow path. Leaving worldly charms and harms behind, they join Christ’s church/kingdom of heaven. With Jesus as their yoke-fellow, they focus on God while rejoicing and enjoying a present measure of their treasures in heaven. With singular focus on the heavenly (Father) and thus, “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before” God’s wise disciples have consolation, peace, joy and happiness. They do truly rejoice as they journey on to eternal glory by pressing “toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”