New Light on the Sermon on the Mount
Monday, February 27, 2023
Presenter: Dr. Erin Vearncombe
Three chapters of the Gospel of Matthew present us with some of the most famous and foundational teachings of all of the diverse writings included in the New Testament: Jesus’ command to love our neighbor as ourselves, his list of blessings for those who suffer and seek righteousness, his call to turn the other cheek, and the Lord’s Prayer are all part of what we now call the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5 – 7. While these are teachings we feel we know well, new evidence from Jesus’ world provides us with a deepened understanding of this material. Specifically, insight into the social realities of Jesus’ day – his political environment, his social environment, even seemingly commonplace realities like what Jesus wore – reveals that Jesus’ instructions call us to a much more radical vision of God, God’s Kingdom and our place within that Kingdom than we have previously realized. This Bible and Beyond Discussion will call us to examine writings that seem at first familiar and challenge us to read them through first century, ancient Mediterranean eyes. We will talk about what big concepts like belonging, kingship, providence, love and safety really mean.
Texts used in this discussion:
“An eye for an eye,” Matthew 5:38 – 42
The Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:5 – 15
“Do not worry,” Matthew 6:25 – 34