Read Matthew 5:1-8:34
Imagine that we hear the news in the Post Register that Jesus is sitting today on top of Taylor Mountain. Since there are thousands upon thousands in Idaho Falls who are no stranger to the name of Jesus, a mass multitude would be exiting the city limits to see and hear the Man. Property owners at Mt. Taylor probably would grant permission to trek on their land. Slipping into our Klim snowmobile gear or grabbing our hunting jackets from Sportsman warehouse, we brave the freezing temperatures, drive to the base of Taylor, and slog up the hill in the snow. Excitement and expectation mount in our hearts.
What would Jesus say to us in Idaho Falls? As we listen, His authoritative words completely turn upside down our cultural worldviews. He talks about the values of His Kingdom: poverty in spirit, mourning, meekness, hunger for righteousness, mercy, purity of heart, peacemaking, and persecution. He looks into our hearts, exposing our anger, sexual lusts, family divisions, swearing, and vengeful retaliation. He repeatedly shows to us where we break down in loving Him and others as we ought. He exhorts us to stop making our religious actions a big, hypocritical show before others when inwardly we harbor pride, unforgiveness, worry, and false judgments.
He pinpoints where we treasure our idols above Him. It’s excruciating to listen to His message. When He states, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven,” some shuffle their feet in the snow. Others nervously cough in the silence. Their warm breath can be seen in the cold air. Some tear themselves away from the King’s direct gaze and look down into the valley toward Idaho Falls.
Convicted by His words, choices confront us. Will we repent of our self-righteousness and cling solely in faith to His righteousness? Or we will head back with hard hearts to Idaho Falls, business as usual? He tells us that the storm is coming and that standing on the Rock is our only hope.