Christians and non-Christians a like often loose sight of what it really means to be a follower of Jesus. I read many blogs lamenting against Christian education and Christian values and Christian anything. I think this is because Christians have misrepresented the Lord to the watching world. I recently read about Justin the Martyr. In his day, Christians were misrepresented as being immoral and, believe it or not, atheists. They were charged with atheism because they did not serve the Roman Emperor or believe in the polytheist gods of
I think of the Sermon on the Mount and how there is nothing that Jesus taught that is not good for the world. Matthew 5 recounts His most famous sermon. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Blessed are those who are merciful. Blessed are those who are pure in heart. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake.
He calls His followers to be shining pure examples of His Light so that others will see and praise God. Our lives are to be living testimonies of Him so much so that people see us and want to praise God.
Jesus goes on to speak of forgiving those who owe us a debt or have done us wrong. He speaks of being faithful to one’s spouse. He speaks of keeping ones word. He tells us to always give to those who ask and to go the extra mile as well. He says that if someone steals from you give them more. If they strike you on one cheek, give them the other as well. He says we are to love our enemies, not just our friends.
Just think of a world where everyone lived just by these words of Christ in Matthew 5 given in the Sermon on the Mount. What would that world look like? Would it not be a world of peace, mercy, love, forgiveness, giving, righteousness, purity, faithfulness? Jesus says that this is possible, not by our might, but by His working in us and bringing about these things in our lives. These things do not earn us God’s approval. We, as Christians, are already stamped with His forgiveness and His holiness in Christ. But we are called to live as Christ did and we are empowered to do so through Christ, doing so causes the world to praise God. It is not for our glory that we live this way, but for His. It is because of His love overflowing in us that this ought to be what it looks like to follow Jesus. We owe it to the world.