We just finished reading the Sermon on the Mount today. It is a well-known passage in Idaho Falls, especially in the KJV.
Highlights from today’s reading:
1. “Remove the plank from your own eye” (Matt. 7:5). That could be really painful. This is a bigger job than what the Advantage Eye Center, Idaho Family Vision, and the elite laser team of the Idaho Eye Center can do. I know. I have had lasik surgery. But none of these fine professionals can help me with what Jesus is talking about here. I need the skill of the master Surgeon – the one who gives the seeing eye.
2. “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it” (Matt. 7:13). The narrow gate is not where all the crowds are at.
3. The warnings get more severe. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matt. 7:19). Some in America say we should not be too concerned about fire, that love wins. But it is hard for me to trust speakers, no matter how fascinating their rhetoric, who put the words of Jesus on trial. I realize that Jesus in Matthew 7 is not trying to woo and win the ears of the crowds or the religious hierarchy.
4. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matt. 7:21-23) In the town of Idaho Falls, we would probably have around 35,000 people professing to be Christians, but wouldn’t it be awful for those among us to hear these words from the Lord Jesus Christ in the end? Stop a minute. Consider why you are doing all your religious work, work, and more work. Ask yourself. Is your life really on the rock? Well, how important to you are the sayings of the One having authority? Who is your authority at the moment?
On this day, Ben grapples with this very passage on the blog, “What Do Mormons Believe?”