Where are you sitting?

Freshwater Staff   -  

In the first message of our new series on the Sermon on the Mount, Pastor Sean shared an illustration of the different groups of people, sitting in successive arcs, who were likely in the audience as Jesus spoke in Matthew 5

The first audience arc would have been the Disciples. These are the 12 guys who had been chosen to follow Jesus along with maybe a few other close followers, and they’re also the main targets of this particular message.

Sean said this would have been like Jesus’ “Jewish youth group.” These were people who had been raised on all the Jewish laws and traditions. Many had large portions of the first five books of the Bible memorized, and not only had they been taught to legalistically follow those food rules and cleanliness laws, but they also likely spoke out harshly against those who had not.

The second audience arc in the crowd were those who were looking to find fault with Jesus. These were religious legalists who followed Jesus everywhere he went, but only so they could continue searching for holes in his teachings. Many in this arc would eventually help lead Jesus off to be crucified.

The third arc consisted of seekers, whether they were loosely connected to Judaism or were complete outsiders.

The second and third arcs were satellite to Jesus’s main audience — his disciples in the first arc.

As you examine your relationship with Jesus today, which arc would you find yourself in?

  • Are you a Jewish youth group member, listening intently to your Rabbi, hungry for His insight? Are you aligned with His truths, and allowing those truths to guide your everyday life?
  • Or are you in the next arc, looking to be judge and jury?
  • Or are you in the third arc, new to all this teaching and wondering what it means?

Spend some time evaluating which arc you most commonly find yourself in, or if you sometimes move between them depending on your circumstances.

Also, look at times when you’ve wrestled with the message of Jesus. When it bumped up against your culture, your position, your identity.

Doing so will press us to a deeper revelation of our true position with Jesus so he can guide us into a right position.

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