THE MESSAGE OF JESUS
- Jesus taught about the mysteries of God and his plans for us
- He taught that God’s will can be summarized with the phrase to love God and love our neighbors
- Those who rejected Jesus’ message missed out on the life he gives
“Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25)
Jesus spent much of his three years of ministry teaching people about God and the mysteries of his plans for us. One time he taught great crowds in what people call the Sermon on the Mount. He described that what God values is often upside down from what the world values. He told them that God defines evil not just in outward actions but in the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Jesus taught them that the main part of all of God’s commands comes down to this “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” He showed them that greatness consisted in having the humility of a little child. It is about being willing to be the servant to help others rather than grabbing the glory and attention for yourself. He told them not to be filled with anxiety over life or the future, but to put those into the hands of God who cares for those details.
Jesus used many everyday items to teach his followers in parables (stories with spiritual meanings). He said he is the vine and we are the branches. We bear fruit when we are connected with him like the branches that remain in the vine. He talked about his word being like seed that a farmer casts into the fields. Some of the seed failed to grow because birds snatched it away (people hear God’s word and they lost it due to temptations). Some of the seed did not take root because it fell on rock. Others were choked out by the weeds (people hear God’s word and receive it, but soon the worries of life overtake it). But seed that fell on fertile soil bore much fruit (people hear God’s word, accept it, and produce a crop).
Jesus helped people understand the real intentions of God throughout history. He told them that one day he would return as Judge over everyone. He would separate those whom he will take to heaven for eternal joy from those who will go to hell to suffer eternally.
Jesus’ teachings angered the religious leaders of his day not only because it didn’t match what they had been telling people. He also addressed their hypocrisy and the damage they were doing with their man-made laws and teachings. What upset them most was that Jesus said he was the Son of God, the Messiah of the world. Those who rejected that message missed why he came and lost out on the tremendous gift of life he gives. What about you?