Jesus’ most famous sermon, recorded in Matthew chapters five through seven, is often quoted. However, there is much diversity among its various interpretations. The reasons for this variety are many and complex. Still, I believe that a better grasp of the historical background of the Sermon can help us to sift through the different approaches to its interpretation.
I am currently preaching a series in the book of Ruth, and have had the opportunity to put Block’s commentary through the paces, as a homiletic aid. After doing so, I must admit that I am more than a smidge impressed. In terms of its value to someone who is preparing to teach or preach, this commentary ranks highly.
Guest professors who are teaching at Western’s Portland campus this summer include Dr. Tom Schreiner (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) and Dr. Marc Cortez (Wheaton College). A sampling of some of these upcoming summer courses, arranged by date, is provided below. Be aware that these courses often fill up fast – so it’s wise to register early if you want to be guaranteed a spot.
I’ve never really enjoyed the book of Esther. I’m not exactly sure why that is. Maybe it’s because I haven’t heard any teaching on it outside of children’s Sunday school. My daughter suggested that it’s because of the Veggie Tale version (Warning to all parents: Apparently the tickle torture in it creates lifelong nightmares in some children). The bottom line is that I’ve just never “gotten” it . . . until this week.
How many times do I forgive a brother or sister who mistreats me? Should I forgive them seven times? Jesus answers, “seventy-seven times.” Forgiving one seven times sounds reasonable to the average human being, the operative word in that phrase being “sounds.” But Jesus ups the amount. His point isn’t that we forgive someone exactly seventy-seven times and no more. Rather, our mercy and forgiveness is to be without end, since God’s mercy toward us for our sin is endless.