The Golden Rule
February 16, 2020 Series: Living the Kingdom Life: The Sermon on the Mount (Epiphany 2020)
Passage: Matthew 7:1–7:12
At the time when Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, there were several religious factions in Israel. Each faction had its own ideas of how to follow God, and each one was quick to condemn the other factions for falling short, selling out, or otherwise failing to follow God in the proper way. In that sense, unfortunately, things haven't changed that much between then and now; we still have a habit of defining ourselves as the "true believers", and viewing those who differ from us with disapproval and suspicion.
Jesus calls us away from this sort of "gate-keeper" mentality. He calls us to apply our criticism, our suspicions, and our litmus tests to ourselves, and to embrace our fellow believers in a spirit of trust, regardless of any differences. Besides, it's not up to us to preserve the purity of the kingdom of God--as if we could do that by our own strength, in the face of the powers of this world. Let us trust God to keep his kingdom pure.
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