The Challenging Words of Jesus

Sermon Series: Sundays at The Open Door

0829 challenging wordsSome people have the idea that Jesus’s teachings are a kind of “how to” guide for living a good life. They feel that the gospels offer easy-to-follow instructions and advice that anyone can apply with a little practice.

These people are in for disappointment when they read their bibles because they find that Jesus did not give a step-by-step guide. Indeed what he did say often seems baffling, even contradictory.

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matt 19:24, Mk 10:25) Uh-oh. How rich? And why does wealth matter? Isn’t being a good person what matters?

“Many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” (Matt 19:30) First in what way? Social order? Earthly success? Surely not first in faithfulness?

“I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt 5:28) This is too much! Everyone has had lustful thoughts at some time. It can’t be prevented; it’s human nature. Surely it’s wrong only if you act on those thoughts. How can anyone really obey this?

Scripture quotes such as these cannot be looked at in isolation. Instead you need to have an understanding of overall scripture narratives, an understanding that comes over time through reading and discussion. Indeed, these confusing-on-the-surface texts can reveal deep truths, but we need to do some digging to understand those truths.

Over the next few weeks, Rev. Drew will take a few of these texts – these Challenging Words of Jesus – and help us do that digging to reveal some of those truths.

Sermon Series

The Challenging Words of Jesus

The Open Door
Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
Fall, 2016


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