Categories
Theology

Who Is This King?

Brandon Levering, looking to the Sermon on the Mount, gives an answer:

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus is portrayed to us as a new Moses, who comes out of the wilderness and ascends the mountain (5:1-2) to give God’s instruction. Jesus came not to relax or remove the Law, but to fulfill it (5:17-20).

And yet, Jesus is more than a new Moses, for he speaks with the authority of God himself (cf. 7:28-29). He is no mere prophet shouting, “Thus says the Lord.” Rather, Jesus says, “You have heard it said before…but I say to you” (e.g. 5:21-22). Throughout the sermon Jesus speaks on direct behalf of his Father in heaven (e.g. 5:45-48; 6:1-18; 7:7-10). He speaks as the divine law-giver and judge (7:21-23). And he speaks as the one in whose words we find wisdom and life (7:24-27).

Jesus is the King who speaks as God. Which means that there can be no real adherence to the Sermon on the Mount without first recognizing and humbly submitting to the authority of Jesus.

Read the whole thing.

Categories
Theology

Works that Blind and Bring Sight

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told his disciples,

You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Good works in the true Christian are designed by God to blind people from seeing me doing the work.  At the the same time, God designs the works to enable people to see his glory.

A person whom God is drawing to himself will see a good work in me and say, “Wow.  I know James.  He’s not that great.  He wouldn’t — couldn’t — do that on his own.  It must be something greater than himself.  Something more powerful, more gracious, more loving.  It can only be God.”