Our friend Dr. Allen Jackson has written a great post over on the Student Life Blog. It's a great post on that looks at the Sermon on the Mount as Jesus' first major foray into spiritually shaping the disciples.
Dr. Jackson sees the Beatitudes as "a progression of maturity in discipleship."
It's a great read, one we hope you'll check out. Here's a short excerpt below, followed by a link to the original article.
Sometimes I forget that Jesus’ disciples were pretty young. Most scholars think they were teenagers or a little older. Despite their youth, Andrew, Peter and the rest of the disciples had to unlearn their misconceptions of “discipleship” in order to grasp the true meaning of the Gospel. For the next three years, their journey would be a “two steps forward, one step back” kind of maturity.
The Sermon on the Mount was Jesus’ first major lesson in spiritual formation. Although many people heard the Sermon on the Mount, it was primarily directed to Jesus’ followers. The main idea was that progressive spiritual growth – spiritual formation – would be at the heart of discipleship.
Matthew 5:48 declares the Sermon’s bold central theme, “You shall be perfect just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” The word “perfect” does not refer to sinless or moral perfection. It means completeness, wholeness, maturity – being all that God wants a person to be, a goal that is never reached in our earthly life, but it continuously challenges us to greater devotion to God.
CLICK HERE to head over to Student Life.com and read the rest of Dr. Jackson's article.