January 18, 2002


Text: Matthew 5:1-12

Title: "The Perfect Disciple - Blessing or Curse?"

Introduction: The search goes on for the perfect disciple...

Like the quest of Revelation 5 for the "One" who is worthy to open the book?

Or, the "rich young ruler" seeking eternal life...and he goes away sad?

Is it the common counsel regarding "being good" = "follow the ten commandments" and "live by the sermon on the mount"?

The echo of Romans 3:10ff can be heard: "there is none righteous, no not one!" and Rev. 5> "I wept because there was none who was worthy to open...!"

Hence, this text begins not with the potential for human triumphalism and bravado, but with weeping!

I. (Comparing the text to the Lukan travel narrative): Jesus takes the lead in living-out discipleship on behalf of the disciples. Here too, Jesus the resurrected One is going before the disciples and calling them to follow. (Connection to Mark?)

II. The picture here of the "poor one" who is "subject to peril" along God's journey is mirrored again in I Corinthians 13 or in Philippians 2:6ff...who can love like this or be subject so totally to the will of God as this? Only Christ himself as the precursor.

III. Vv. 11-12 sum up in their angle of vision the One who is persecuted on our behalf. Jesus is finally the subject of the sermon on the mount and God's pronouncement of "makarios" is upon him.

Conclusion: Those belonging to the resurrected One by faith makes them into co-heirs with the Heir and thereby the sermon's blessing and not its curse!