Christ never played around with His words. His teaching was straight-forward. He sometimes made His point through stories called parables. These were based on common situations so that the average person could readily understand His serious message. The parables were also drawn from nature and were about seeds, plants, fruits, and trees.
Christ’s crowd of listeners included the total social structure of his time: fishermen, farmers, servants, invading soldiers, tax collectors working for a conquering government, and prostitutes and as well as the religious leaders. Even the wife of King Herod’s treasurer was one of his supporters (Luke 8:3). All were welcome to hear him (and still are).
His twelve apostles were perhaps from the lowest social strata as pointed out by Philip Yancey (The Jesus I Never Knew, pp 60, 98 & 99). In Mark 7:18, Christ seemed to point out the lack of understanding of his disciples, asking them at one stage, if they were so “dull” (NIV).
One of the first records of Christ’s teachings was that the pure in heart would “see” GOD. There was nothing new or special about this. Six centuries before, God reminded his people that they would find Him if they searched for him whole-heartedly, amidst their captivity (Jeremiah 29:13). Today, as before, we live in captivity of our environment (though a virtual one) and if we seek Him whole-heartedly, we would find GOD. Only half-hearted efforts would, of course, result in failing to find GOD.
Seeking GOD was seeking a relationship: not seeking a concept or how to find an idea, acceptable academically. If we say that it is hard to know GOD, it means one or possibly two things: we have been misinformed about getting to know Him; secondly, something in our hearts is holding us back from doing so, very heavily.
Similarly, seeking God does not merely involve doing things for GOD on a routine basis. GOD and His kingdom exist without our efforts. Instead, seeking GOD amounts to cultivating a relationship with Christ, where we know each other personally (Matthew 7:22 & 23).
There is nothing complex about the things Christ said. Max Lucado pointed out that there is a brief record of the important things that Christ said. They were neither long-winded statements nor confusing directions. Christ’s greatest and complete Sermon can be read in 8 minutes and is mainly found in Matthew’s gospel, chapters 5 to 7.This was the Sermon on the Mount(ain), recorded after his baptism and temptation in the wilderness.
How do we live as followers in Christ? Do our words and deeds reveal His goodness in us? How can we be more like Him? Please share your thoughts via comments.