Continuing the Conversation … from Aug 9

I take an odd sense of comfort from what are often called the Hard Sayings of Jesus. Hard Sayings are those words of Jesus that aren’t easily explained or obeyed. For example, when Jesus talks about “hating” parents, siblings and family (Lk. 14:26), taking from the poor and giving to the rich (Mk. 4:25) and many others. One can turn to nearly any page in the Gospels and find one of these sayings of Jesus that is hard to grasp and/or harder to follow. It seems to me that the Sermon on the Mount is full of these. (These happen to be ones that are not so hard to understand as they are to obey.)

This past weekend we explored one of these hard sayings that shows up at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. Here it is:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!   – Mat 24:21-23