For 9-weeks, this group of women committed to read and study together Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew 5-7. This message is the longest recorded sermon given by Jesus during His 3-year ministry on earth. Anyone who has studied the Bible or heard about the Bible tends to be aware of what the Sermon on the Mount says, enough to quote familiar verses from this passage. But surprisingly, I have come to a stark realization of how much of what Jesus spoke of in His Sermon I have greatly misunderstood. Though I have been intrigued in digging deeper and learning about a familiar passage of Scripture, sadly I have been stunned how skewed my perspective has been regarding this Sermon and the One who taught it.
It is easy to get caught up in false assumptions concerning familiar events, people, and even passages of Scripture, which are actually a bit of a mystery if you haven’t taken the time to get to know more about them. It’s not uncommon to make a quick judgment about the familiar before truly seeking to study and grow in an accurate understanding of the truth.
God’s Word and a Women’s Ministry brought me together with these women in a specific Bible study class, but I have learned that I have more in common with them beyond our mutual desire to study Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount together. I have found that our life situations, challenges, fears, and successes are similar even though we have all been traveling on our own unique journey, yet whose paths have happened to cross for this Bible study.
As we have learned more about Jesus, His Word, and have focused on the message of His Gospel of Grace, we have witnessed how one Sermon given over 2,000 years ago transcends time and generations to fulfill God’s purpose in making much of Jesus and what He’s done for sinners like us. It’s amazing that taking time to intentionally study three chapters of Scripture has turned our outlook on the Kingdom of God upside down as we consider what God intended for those who claim to follow Jesus.
It has meant that we have hesitantly stepped out of the shadow of what’s familiar and comfortable to open up our hearts and minds to explore God’s truth in greater detail. Our Father in His own creative way has the ability to draw the most unexpected people groups together for the purpose of glorifying Himself and exalting the Name of His Son. That is the amazing power of God’s Word and the work of His Spirit. For without Jesus, none of us would understand the gift of sharing a mutual relationship with each other as the church body of Christ.
May Jesus, His Gospel, and God’s Word be what determine your mode of operation that goes beyond the common and familiar to focus solely on the person of Christ and His work of salvation. For you never know whom you will cross paths with and you just might have more in common with them than you know.