We are halfway through our Lenten journey (day 20!), and today we read the last part of Jesus’s sermon.
We first focus on the dust and plank in our eyes. We explain to the boys that we cannot point out other people’s sins when we ourselves have huge sins. We explain what hypocrite means and how we often judge other people and are hypocrites ourselves. I have a temptation into turning this into a reprimanding session, since Evan is quick to point out that his brother wrongdoing to make himself look better. (Don’t point out Ian’s mistakes when you yourself make bad decisions all the time!)
But I suppress my urge, and move on to the next section of the passage.
This next section is about ask, seek and knock. It is usually taken out of context when talking about prayer requests. But we see that it is used to describe God’s character. Like a parent, God is wise and generous who wants to give good things to his children. So what are we supposed to ask, seek and knock? Reading through the sermon, we can see that it is for the God’s kingdom and his righteousness. So what does that practically mean?
All of the rules that we have read for the past three days about murder, swearing, loving enemies, giving, prayer, fasting, worrying, judging, etc. is summed up in “do to others what you would have them do to you.” In other words, love your neighbors as yourself. We want to be accepted and cared for and be on the receiving end of mercy and compassion. But are we accepting, generous, nonjudgmental and loving towards other people? No, we are not. So that is what we ask of our heavenly Father who is the source of love. He already accepts, cares and loves us who are not worthy. So when it is so hard for us to love other people as ourselves, we ask, seek and knock for God’s grace and love. We pray for God’s kingdom and his righteousness will be done here at it is in heaven.
The last section is the end of the sermon, and Jesus is urging us to follow his way. It may seem hard (the narrow road), but we will be able to show Christ’s love (bearing fruit), and it will sustain us during hardships (house built on rock). We talked about how important to have a good concrete foundation for houses. We also need to have a good foundation in Jesus. That’s why we read the Bible!
This was a longer passage with lots to talk about, and at times conversation went elsewhere, but it was refreshing for us to read Sermon on the Mount with the children.
(For shorter version, read the first half – Matthew 7:1-12)