behavior, choices, God, God's Sovereignty, Obedience, Righteousness, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit

Jesus Dismantles Religion’s Status Quo

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount dismantled the status quo of the Jewishsermon on the mount religious leaders. Their religious status quo was based on a bunch of rules, works and good deeds. Jesus taught that only faith could define our destiny and that living outside our faith is foolish.

Their status quo taught that happiness was about accumulating personal possessions and wealth.
In the Beatitudes Jesus taught that blessings come from being poor in spirit.

Living by the status quo meant not showing negative emotions. Appearing as having it all together.
Jesus said those who mourn would be blessed. His idea of mourning was a deep sadness and grief directly related to a brokenness that leads to repentance. He taught without brokenness we can not be blessed. The religious status quo turned a blind eye to repentance.

The status quo of religion was about being right no matter what. Jesus taught a blessed life was about being righteous and holy. That the evidence of our holiness was in our gentle and caring acts of kindness to others.

As we read the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew we understand something. What Jesus was teaching in His day can apply to us today. The ones who will truly be blessed in our day are the ones who live diametrically opposed to the rules of performance-based religion.

This message was inspired by a message from Pastor Gearl Spicer at One Heart Church, Norcross, Georgia

11 thoughts on “Jesus Dismantles Religion’s Status Quo

  1. “Their religious status quo was based on a bunch of rules, works and good deeds. Jesus taught that only faith could define our destiny and that living outside our faith is foolish”.

    You are misrepresenting the issues here. Jesus did not come to abolish the LAW, He came to establish it. (Matt 5:17) the Greek word pleroo in that Mt. passage means to establish. It does not mean to end it and make something new. Jesus upheld Torah and said “I did NOT come to abolish Torah” (the Law) I came to establish (the right meaning of pleroo) it. What Jesus was doing is creating a good halakah (you should know what that means in His thought). The religious status quo in Jesus time did not exist. There were leaders of CERTAIN groups, but there were many groups. There really wasn’t anything called Judaism or Christianity at the time. Understanding the accurate history allows a more accurate exegesis. Remember the first rule of exegesis is context, then context, then context. The traditional view is based on Anti-Semitism. This view has been changing since the late 1940’s. It would be good to get up to speed on your history.
    Here’s a good site for you! It helps you to understand context…
    http://jewishstudies.eteacherbiblical.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dr. Durham, thank you so much for your insightful comments. I visited the website above and am eager to dig in and read. I must admit I’m not as well versed on Jewish history and culture as I’d like to be.
      I have a Messianic Jewish friend with whom I have had many meaningful conversations. I love to hear his perspective on Jewish history and the gospel. I sit with awe as he tells his stories and teaches me about his Jewish experience. I hope to learn more as I delve into the excellent looking studies for Christians on the site you gave me. Thank you again and may God richly bless you.

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  2. “Hi Steven, I\’m glad that you believe that we have much to share with each other. As we do so, apart from direct responses to the topical material in your blog, I think that it will probably be best for us to use an email program for our messages. I don\’t believe that blogs are designed for publishing and sharing some of the comments that we might like to share. I appreciate your recognition of the importance of citing sources for anything that you quote or mention from my website. Such references can draw new viewers to my material, which is one of the purposes of various social networks. Such references, which you apparently understand, would be links that are additional to cited links in a basic menu of helpful resources that some bloggers and webmasters publish in their materials. I will be glad to put a link to your blog in my list of links on my website, if you think that might help to draw viewers to your blog. Let me know how I might introduce you and your blog to my viewers so I don\’t get it wrong. Is your cited topic a good statement regarding the focused purpose of your blog? The focus of my website is on \”Christianity and what is good forever\”, and the focus of my blog is on \”What is good\”. As you might tell, the two are related. In order to avoid spamming your blog, I would only leave a comment on any of your posts if it was directly related to the subject of the particular post. Other personal comments should be shared through other media. Most bloggers have filters that are installed to block spam. I know that WordPress does have such protecting tools. I\’m going to have to take some time to get more familiar with you and your blog as you do the same with my publications. As we engage in this process, I trust that we can do so by exchanging email messages. Let me know what you think of this suggestion. Bob”

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    1. Certainly. Email is fine. I’ll respond in length to your comments in an email to you later today. I agree with everything you’ve said here. God bless. Talk soon.

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    1. Wow! What a treasure trove of “good” reading material. Can’t wait to dive in. I like to read from a number of good blogs and websites, when I’m not busy writing for my own blog. You’ll be one of those I choose to read. Just your index of topics is very appealing to me. And thank you so much for visiting FHG. I hope we get to chat again soon, Bob. God bless.

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      1. I think that we are engaged in a common ministry, so I think that we have much that we can share with each other. I pray that you will find my resources to be interesting and helpful. If you want copies of any of Bible studies, let me know. All of my resources are free. If you have any questions about anything that I have written, let me know and I’ll try to answer them for you. Let us keep in touch. Bob

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      2. I agree. I believe our ministries are quite similar in several ways. I’m going to enjoy perusing your resources. If I use material from another author, I always include a very brief and a link back to their blog or web. Maybe we can swap information or posts some time. And yes, let’s stay in touch. God bless.

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