It’s Not “Good News” If It’s a List of “How-Tos”


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We are staying in the Sermon on the Mount this week and again looking for places where God may be announcing His Good News to us through it.

This week, you might try to imagine yourself in the scene. Maybe you are a poor Jewish person in the crowd looking for God to deliver His people from the Romans. Maybe you are a Pharisee or scribe or a priest. Maybe you are a Greek from the Decapolis, but heard about Jesus healing many people. Maybe you have a decent profession, but maybe you live day to day just trying to make ends meet. Maybe you are one of Jesus’ disciples still learning what Jesus is about. Pick someone who you can imagine was there and try to enter into their situation as you listen to Jesus.

Now read Matthew chapter 5 and maybe chapters 6 and 7. Continue until you feel you should stop. How does Jesus’ message strike you in your imagined situation? What is God saying to you? How is it good news? Is God inviting a response from you? Can you respond in the way that He is asking? What, if anything, is standing in the way?

If you have time, reread the same section from the gospel of Matthew again, this time imagining that you are another person in the scene. Again, listen to Jesus’ message. Where is the good news? How is it good for you? Is God asking for a response? Can you provide it?

In the time you have left, look back at how you saw Jesus’ message as good news for your imagined situations. Is there any connection between them and your own situation today? Do you sense God saying anything to you about his good news? Do you sense Him asking for a response from you? How do you feel about it? You might consider sharing your experience of prayer with someone this week.

Feel free to share your experience with others who have also tried this prayer exercise by commenting below or emailing:

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