A dear friend, Bryan Keaton, was recently sharing some of his own awe and wonder over the sermon on the mount.
The verse we are both talking about is:
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:48 ESV
I have seen this verse speak in so many different ways, depending on which specific word convicts us. He mentions how the word “therefore” hit him last night and sprung up praise in his heart that he shared with me. Then, I read his awe and wonder, which sprung up additional awe and wonder from me over the word “be” and what importance that holds as well.
I have also had times in my life where I needed to repent of sin or complacency and the Holy Spirit emphasized the word perfect/holy to me so that I might remember that we are to “be HOLY as He is HOLY”. We could read this sentence many times, placing emphasis on a different single word each time, and a different nuance of conviction, awe and wonder might come to light. The word “YOUR” might remind us that He isn’t just some “far away” heavenly Father and awesome Almighty God common to all of creation — but He is “mine”, He is personally close and individually mine.
Our awe and wonder over the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 together also reminds me of an interaction Jesus has with a Cannannite woman in Matthew 15.
And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
Matthew 15:22-28 ESV
Thank you Lord, for your Word. Every single crumb is a delight. Thank you for giving your bread not just to the children, but even giving crumbs to the dogs. Amen.
One thought on “Awe and Wonder”
Bryan was contemplating on the “therefore”. I don’t know that I’ve ever say and chewed on that word enough myself, so a huge thank you to him personally.
Imagine the impact of sitting there listening to Jesus, the Word of God, speaking the Word of God, in a new, powerful, authoritative way teaching the precepts not just laying down laws.
And then He essentially says, now that you see how much higher the bar of holiness actually is from “just keeping the law”! And knowing that none of them were able to even keep the law perfectly, he essentially says, “Be holy like God”.
Therefore you’ve heard it. Go BE it.
That’s an end to a sermon right there. Drop the mic, either let conviction fall or let them walk away. No sugar coating, no pleading. Just a sword.
Knowing that those who truly fear and love God would have to seek God for a solution they couldn’t accomplish on their own.
The gospel and the Kingdom laid out perfectly by the Perfect. Amen.