The sermon on the mount has often been referred to as “The ordination address to the twelve.” I have been called “The compendium of Christ doctrine, the Magna Charter of the Kingdom; The manifesto of the King.” All are agreed that in the sermon on the mount, we have the essence of Jesus’ teachings to Jesus’ inner circle. We see the pouring out of his heart to those who were his closest companions.
The text begins, “When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions.” (Matthew 5: 1-2, MSG).
It’s clear from Matthew’s account that not all in the great throng of followers chose to ascend the hill. In fact, only those who were truly committed, those who were a part of His inner circle became His “climbing companions.”
It is to these climbing companions, the truly committed, that Jesus sat down and poured out the vast reservoir of HIs heart, telling them the secrets of the kingdom life.
Jesus knew that to the casual follower, the uncommitted, those unwilling to climb the mount, the secrets of kingdom living would be nothing more than a series of strange riddles, explained away by a flowed logic fueled by the desire for self-gratification. In other words, Jesus knew that the masses would not be transformed by one sermon or one miracle, but rather people, and therefore culture is changed through relationships.
The kingdom life is not so much defined by a set of percepts or doctrinal statements, although they’re essential, rather the Christian life, the kingdom life is about a relationship. It’s about commitment, loyalty, and sacrifice. It’s about death, experience, and climbing; it about a quiet place. It’s about listening to the heart of Jesus. It’s not about a sermon or flashy miracle but rather a connection with Jesus!
I don’t want to be a causal follower; no, I want to climb the hill. I want to sit in a quiet place and learn the secrets of kingdom living. I want to be a climbing companion! So, what does a climbing companion of Jesus look like? First, he seeks quality time with the master. Second, he hungers for the master’s words. And, Finally, he tries to obey the masters’ teachings.
Today, I invite each of us to come to a quiet place and be transformed, not by a sermon but by being in a relationship with Jesus Christ!