Reflections on Jesus
The teachings of Jesus, His death and resurrection, and the promise of His return provide believers with a firm foundation for living, confidence in God’s power and provision in our lives, and clear direction in The Way. As a believer, His message directs my educational choices, guides my life experiences, and determines how I approach society. Christ teaches that the measure of successful living in His eternal kingdom is far different than the standards society espouses. In Matthew 5, He lists many “blessings” that our society defines as character flaws or weaknesses. Jesus asks believers to remove our trust in possessions and self-gratification. He calls us to live differently so that others can see Him clearly in us, and in doing so, offer hope to those who are hurting. Christ provides practical guidance for daily living. Throughout Matthew 5 and 6, He challenges believers to examine our motives and make decisions beyond the letter of the law. We are to consider the “thought life” behind our actions and strive to make those thoughts and motives pure. (Bradley, 2012) In doing so, we are able to live righteously in both the law and the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV) Jesus cautions His believers not to forget the glorious purpose we are called to. By being the salt of the earth as described in Matthew 5, we are called to live in a way that mirrors Jesus’ sacrifice, which can preserve a dying world as salt preserves food. Jesus asks us to reflect His light and illuminate a dark world. Each parable in Luke 15 displays how highly God values us. His pastoral, possessive, and parental connections to us are also revealed, as is His great concern when we are separated from Him. The parables allude to God’s efforts to rescue, retrieve, and restore us to Him and the great celebration that results when we are reunited. By reflecting God’s love to the world, we fulfill our purpose and help “find” the lost. The account of Jesus’ death and...
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