Yesterday at Morgantown Community Church we began a journey through the Sermon on the Mount [Matthew 5-7] that will span six months and four different series. Our first series is an exploration of the ‘Beatitudes’, or as Frederick Dale Bruner calls them, “Jesus’ surprisingly countercultural God-bless-yous to the people in God-awful situations.”
There is so much I’d like to dig into each week, but time won’t allow for all of it. So, here on the blog, I’ll try each week to post some of the ‘cutting room floor’ quotes, ideas, etc. that didn’t make the Sunday teaching.
Today, we hear more wisdom from Dallas Willard on what the Beatitudes actually are:
“The Beatitudes simply cannot be ‘good news’ if they are understood as a set of ‘how-tos’ for achieving blessedness. They would then only amount to a new legalism. They would serve not to throw open the kingdom—anything but. They would impose a new brand of Phariseeism, a new way of closing the door—as well as some very gratifying possibilities for the human engineering of righteousness…The Beatitudes are human ‘lasts’ who at the individualized touch of the heavens become divine ‘firsts’.”