Oh, what needless pain we bear

The normal response for anyone reading through the sermon on the mount is to feel overwhelmed by the gap between the vision of life that Jesus paints and the reality of the life they experience. 

It is in this context Jesus makes clear that he doesn’t expect people to be able to implement the sermon under their own steam. It will take a miraculous intervention, which is exactly what he teaches his followers to ask for. 

Jesus assumes prayer is effective and teaches us to think of God as our father who loves to give good things to his kids.

I am reminded of the hymn:

Oh, what peace we often forfeit

Oh, what needless pain we bear

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer

Jesus then goes on to describe that his sermon is a summary of the Golden Rule, which itself is a summary of all of the Old Testament.

This world is desperate for people who live the sermon on the mount and thereby live from the Golden Rule, but it is clear we all need the miraculous intervention of God if that is going to be true… and that means we need to learn to pray.

Jesus, please teach us to pray…


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