In this episode of Jesus Stories, we hear of two remarkable people who have faith which is commended by Jesus. A Roman Centurion is sure that Jesus can hear a deathly ill slave just by speaking. And a prostitute honors Jesus at the home of a Pharisee exercising a faith that Jesus says saves her. In between, Jesus raises the son of a widow and shows John’s disciples that he is the one for whom they have been waiting.
We conclude looking at the Sermon on the Mount in this Jesus Stories episode. Jesus starts by getting into our wallets and our stuff. “Don’t store up treasures here on earth…” He tells us not to worry since Jehovah God will take care of his followers. He reminds us that judgment of others brings judgment back upon us. We can only judge with the guidance of Jehovah God. Then he points out the choices that we have to make. Which road will we travel? Which voices will we listen to? What foundation with will build our lives upon?
We continue reviewing Jesus’ teaching from the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus continues to challenge his listeners with his look at “the Law”. He outlines what the law says and continues with “but I say” to explain the expectation that Jehovah God held. In each case, the heart of the individual was to match the observed behavior. He talks about divorce, vows, retribution, and loving your enemies. Then he moves to talk about the acts of worship which are given to Jehovah God. In talking about giving, praying and fasting, he warns against posturing before “our Father” – an unusual term for his Jewish listeners. He warns that such posturing is its own reward. There is no heavenly reward to follow.
This week’s Jesus Stories podcast continues the narrative of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. We start in Capernaum – Jesus’ home base – where he teaches and, again, confronts an evil spirit. This is followed by more teaching and lots of healings. We’ll see two well-known healings: Peter’s mother-in-law and the man let down through the roof of an over-crowded house. Jesus calls Levi (Matthew) and then attends a party which Levi throws for him. In both of these last instances, Jesus confronts the attitudes of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law.
I reference a map of the region in today’s show. Here it is!