Read Jesus Is “The Point” chapter 7 & 8.
Read The Sermon on the Mount, in this sermon Jesus shared his attitude toward the law.
1. The Sermon on the Mount
Make sure you read Matthew 5-7 so this section makes sense!
Judah Smith says, “When Jesus came on the scene, people were stressed-out and worn-out trying to please God. They were so busy trying to do good in order to be good that they couldn’t see how good life was.” Jesus grew up around this culture and he was able to see firsthand how people justified one rule and threw away another. It was this stressful hypocrisy where people thought, “I can follow rules 1-4, but 7-8 are tricky so maybe if I break rule #8 but I condemn my neighbor for breaking rule #2 [hello, rule #2 is SO easy to follow] it all evens out.”
This isn’t a sermon where Jesus was ripping them a new one. He was just saying, “Hey, you’re being hypocrites. You’re being inconsistent. Don’t be self righteous. If you don’t murder your neighbor, but you still hate him, you aren’t being any more like your father in heaven than the guy who does murder him.”
They had the “Good Person Syndrome” and missed the point of these rules or “laws.” The rules in Christianity aren’t so that you perfect your habit of trying not to cuss. The point is to live like Jesus. The point is to point you towards Jesus. The point is Jesus. In this sermon, Jesus was essentially trying to get to the fact that we are all sinners, and fall short of the glory of God. But if we focus on him, it leads us to the right choices.
If you are confused about laws and points made during this sermon, the Old Testament is comprised of 3 laws: ceremonial, civil and moral. We follow moral law, and my bible The Life Application Study Bible breaks these down more on the bottom of The Sermon on the Mount. If you are looking for one to explain more deeply this one covers it! I am definitely not that person to know how to explain it, because girlfriend I still get confused sometimes!
2. The Point of the Law
So if the point of these laws is to point to Jesus, [Jesus said in John 5:39 “You search the scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the scriptures point to me!”] and we recognize that, what next?
Judah Smith says, “If we have faith in Jesus and his work on the cross, then we are as righteous right now as we ever need to be.” “Our fight against sin is noble and good, but make no mistake: we are not fighting to become righteous. We are already righteous. We are simply learning to live outwardly like the people we are inwardly.”
In The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shares the “Beatitudes.” These are basically ways to be blessed, that essentially go agains the secular world in Matthew 5:3-12.
The world says to seek revenge. An eye for an eye. The world says, “They deserved it!”
Jesus says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
Jesus was full of mercy, he spent his years of ministry giving his friendship, his grace, his love and his mercy to others. The scriptures point to that by sharing stories [remember when the religious vigilants wanted this woman stoned and he said, “Woah. You’ve never sinned? Go ahead, throw the first stone.”] and we are to draw closer to him so that we may be filled with his mercy and love for others.
When we make Jesus the point of everything, it’s easier to follow everything he taught.
3. Pinterest Quotes
Pinterest loves to tell us what the point of life is. Beautiful typography over photos of macarons and flowers say, “The point of life is to find yourself and cut those who don’t support you.”
I mean seriously. You know these graphics I’m talking about.
How empty would that be if the point of life was just to become this random person you thought sounded nice because you envisioned them?
But in all seriousness, at some point or another we have wondered what the purpose of our life would be. Would it be to have our dream career? Would it be to have a family? What would drive us?
Because of this, we try to accomplish as many goals as possible and are always looking to change ourselves. We have to be better, so our life can get better. Our world is centered around this “success hamster wheel” so much so that we almost feel guilty being content.
The blogging industry thrives off never being content. We have to get better, create better content, find better photographers, get betters brands, sign better collaborations so in turn we get more followers, more job opportunities and the brands we work with succeed more. Because EVERYONE ELSE is getting better. Truth be told, I don’t go to a lot of events because it is a breeding ground for losing any level of contentedness I have. When I say I’m happy where I am these events can sometimes make me believe, “WOAH, Katey. You’re content? Where is your drive? Good luck getting any collaborations next year. You’re going places….#not”
I constantly get questions about why I don’t go, and to be honest I just don’t want to put myself in an environment that makes me unhappy. Why would I want to go and make myself think that the purpose of life is self fulfillment through having “more.” The only “more” I need is Jesus.
Because if I’m not happy with what I have now at 23, I won’t be happy at 43. Happiness, success and the point of life isn’t determined through what we bring to the table, but what Jesus brings. His love and grace gives us comfort, and while we are meant to do everything to glorify God [including work hard] we have to know accomplishing goals on this earth won’t bring us eternal joy. Jesus is the Point and in my opinion, the greatest purpose in life is to fall in love with him.
4. Things can be Taken Away, but Jesus Won’t
My mom is going through methotrexate treatment for her Rheumatoid Arthritis. Her RA is so bad and has attacked her organs, so she is on an incredibly strong dosage. When she started I was overwhemingly positive. So many readers e-mailed me that this drug made a huge difference in their family member’s life, I was convinced the same would immediately happen for her. Fast forward 12 weeks later, and all I have seen is her suffer more. She promises that she is doing better, but it’s so difficult to be able to see when her RA symptoms stay the same and she is constantly battling symptoms from her treatments [it’s a chemo treatment so she spends her days in bed throwing up, incredibly weak]. I had a complete tantrum last Friday. The medicine makes her really groggy/confused sometimes and she had texted our family friend “Happy 25th Birthday” when he was turning 23. This was her best friend’s son and I KNEW she knew he was turning 23 and that was what set me off.
To be nice, I was frustrated. And I was frustrated with God. I cried to my mom’s best friend. I cried to my dad. I cried to Paul. I cried to my sister. And I finally picked up the phone to cry to my mom. I didn’t understand what God could be teaching the most Godly human being I know by them suffering the past 5 years and going through this treatment the past 12 weeks. Over and over I kept saying, “But why is he doing this to you? Why is your life being taken away? You just lay in bed and suffer. You’ve done nothing!”
My mom kept responding, “It’s fine, Katey! God has given me so much. I have faith and hope in him, that’s all I need.” I cried for 6 hours and her answers didn’t satisfy me until I finally got the point.
Our happiness has more to do with the state of our heart than our external circumstances. My mom is happy because God has given her faith in his plan, and I was unhappy because she isn’t living her life externally like I believed she should be able to. If she can get through this happy, I can get over myself and my selfish wants for her. Health, people, events and objects can all be taken from us. But Jesus always remains, so if we fill our heart with what is seen, rather than unseen [God] it will constantly be broken.
5. What is your focal point people see?
Judah Smith talks about focal points in rooms. The conversation pieces. “Oh wow, what a beautiful mantle.” What is the conversation piece people notice about us? Is it our athletic ability? Is it our job? Is it our appearance? We know our hearts are on the right track, when our focal point is Jesus. I saw a quote one time that said, “I want people to look at me and think, “Wow, that girl loves Jesus.”” When I make decisions I try to think, “Does this make Jesus my focal point, or does it make something else?” I’m a mess of sin, so of course I’m constantly choosing things that don’t make him my focal point. But when I am always asking myself that question it sinks in and usually it doesn’t let me get too far in the other direction.
1. Which concept from The Sermon on the Mount do you find to be the one that really causes you to point to Jesus?
2. Have you struggled with finding the purpose of your life?
3. If you were a fly on the wall while your friends described your life’s focal point, what do you think they would say?
I’m all for good discussion! I’m a human. I’m not perfect. So none of what I wrote was perfect, either. If you disagree with me or someone who comments below please respond with kindness! We all allow barriers in our minds to come down and see other viewpoints when our comments are coming from a place of love, not pride.
Be sure to read Jesus Is Happy for next week!