Jesus touched the hearts of people because he was real. He was different from the other religious leaders of his time. He spoke with the conviction of one who had shared the life of ordinary people. Jesus spoke out of his experience. He was human, he knew temptation, he had lived without power or influence among those who were disempowered and poor. The beatitudes were born of his convictions and his parables were based in his everyday experience. Jesus had been where they were and his vision and faith in a loving God sustained him. His words rang of a truth they could understand.
Teach me, O Lord, to live as you lived and speak as you spoke.
Try to live a faith not of empty piety but out of an honest and true commitment to the message of Jesus and the love of God. Do you ever speak or act out of pious habit? Be more aware of the shallowness of such religious behavior and speech.
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down.
His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you
Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3. Yet the influence of Christ’s 3-year ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all antiquity.
As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene….No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.
The Lord ate from a common bowl, and asked the disciples to sit on the grass. He washed their feet, with a towel wrapped around His waist.
Clement of Alexandria
Christianity is not a doctrine, not truth as truth, but the knowledge of a Person; it is knowing the Lord Jesus. You cannot be educated into being a Christian.
Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit.