Having just wrapped up our teaching series through Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), we're moving into a brand new summer series called "Let's go!"
What it's all about
A little background on something Jesus said in Matthew 5…
The Hebrew people first had the “Torah” or “Law” (the first five books of our Bible: Genesis – Deuteronomy), then as time went on... they collected what came to be known as “the writings (or recordings) of the Prophets”, which is now a part of our Old Testament (Isaiah – Malachi).
The Torah outlined for God's people how to live in His family… but the Hebrew people (or Israelites) didn't always keep their hearts and actions aligned with God's way. Even still, God was patient and gave certain faithful people a similar message to share with the Kings of the time. The intent of each message was for them to repent (which means “to turn around and head the other direction”) from the wrong ways they were living and return to God's way again. The people who were given and shared these messages were called "Prophets". Many of the stories of these Prophets and the God-messages they had were written down.
So… at the time Jesus was speaking in Matthew 5, the phrase “the Law or the Prophets” was a way of referring to the Hebrew Scriptures as a whole (the Old Testament): God’s heart and ways and His ongoing invitation to life with Him both now and future.
Well as the story continued to unfold, Jesus (God with us) comes on the scene and says this...
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." Matthew 5v17 (NIV)
In other words, Jesus wasn’t claiming to start some new “God movement”, rather he was fully and completely living God's way. His heart and actions and life were in-line with the way God had told His people to live from the start. He was the perfect king, priest, and prophet... the faithful one when everyone else had failed.
But there's more, more than just a fact for us to read about. Jesus actually invited them, and now us, to follow Him with their whole lives. He invited them to follow Him with their thoughts and their actions and what they did with their money and bodies and how they treated each other and creation and on and on. So when we say we're a "Christian" what we mean is we're a Christ follower... or literally "Messiah follower" which means "God's anointed one". By following Jesus, we're participating in an ongoing and active relationship with Jesus, with God.
Our new series will be taking a look at how Jesus interacted with people and dealt with emotions like anger and sadness and disappointment and joy and how he thought about money and power and wanting to be known by a ton of people and... you get the idea. We'll be looking at how Jesus lived so that we can follow him in our everyday moments... and, we'll probably bump up against a few ways we do things different than Jesus, and in those moments, we'll choose as a community to again and again say "yes" to Jesus because we've put our faith in Him being God's anointed one (Messiah), the one who has saved and is saving us.
Jesus said, "follow me". Let’s go!