The sermon on the Mount

Published 8:17 am Thursday, May 11, 2023

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I’m in a religion class and studying the great sermons ever preached. To my surprise, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount isn’t included. When I questioned the professor, the answer was that it wasn’t Jesus finest sermon because of His teaching on meekness, which does not fit into the success-driven society in which we’ll be ministering. I began preaching my own sermon to the professor about meekness (not weakness) being an attribute of God. Isn’t this true? – M.G.

Dear M.G.: While many people think of meekness as weakness, this is certainly not the Biblical view. A wild horse that has been broken is no less strong, but the horse is now useful to man. Jesus was meek – not weak. Jesus was, and is, God – compassionate and strong.
When Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, what did He mean when He said that the meek will inherit the earth? He was speaking of an attitude, a form of humility that is sorely lacking in our culture. No person is meek by nature. It’s the work of the Spirit of God.
Moses was meek, but not by nature. God worked meekness into him over a 40-year period. Peter was certainly not meek by nature. He was impetuous, saying and doing the first thing that came into his mind. The Holy Spirit of God transformed Peter after the resurrection of Jesus. Before his conversion, Paul was not meek. His objective was to persecute Christians! Yet Paul wrote to the church at Galatia, “The fruit of the Spirit is gentleness, goodness, and meekness.”
Human nature is proud, not meek. Only the Spirit of God can transform our lives through the new birth experience and then make us over again into the image of Christ. This is what pleases God.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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