I've now deputized my iPod to pick up some of the great pastors of our generation.
Instead of waking up in the morning and grumbling about shoveling the driveway again, now I'm listening to great teaching and learning a lot about different ways to look at the scripture. Recently, the sermon on the mount is where I'm dwelling in the mornings.
This morning I listened to a great sermon on Matthew 7:7-12
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If
you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to
those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Pretty Bold statement huh? All the Old Testament is summed up in these 5 verses. WOW!!! Jesus is saying a lot there.
But on a more detailed examination….look closely.
Ask? Of who?
Seek? And you'll find What?
Knock? And what door?
The beauty of the sermon on the mount is it's continual build up of man's relation to one another, and his relation to God.
"Do not judge lest you be judged."
"Do not say to your brother, I hate."
"You have heard it was said, but I say unto you."
And so on….
Unfortunately, blinded by our need for consecutive ordering, we see it as teaching about one another OR a teaching about our relationship with God. But what if it's….well…both.
What if asking gives us a bond with our neighbors?
Hey Matt, Can you help me with my trash today? And all of the sudden there is a chasm of relationship that can either be bonded together with a "sure," or spread wider with a "nah..I'm a little busy today."
Or what if your kid comes and says, "Dad I need help finding _____" and I have the opportunity to get off the couch and show my son the importance of his need, or I can choose to sit there and watch television to serve my own need to check out.
What if it also looks like, "God I need you to come and rescue me" And now the chasm of trust and faith in God moves from beyond the big "pie in the sky" metaphor, and turns into one of thankful relation. Hmmmmmmmmm…….
I'm still wrestling with the implications of Matthew 7 as a teaching for both how we treat each other, as well as how we interact with God.
What do you think?