Matthew 5

One of my favorite passages of scripture in recent years is the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5-7 in Matthew, also in various chapters in the other gospels). The theme of the sermon on the mount is to trust God. Just like Israel was to show their trust in God by following his instructions with the manna (see Exodus 16), we can show our trust by following the instructions Jesus gives us here. He is teaching us that the spirit of the law is more important than the letter of the law. He is teaching that he will provide for us spiritually, emotionally, physically, that his instructions can resolve conflict, that he is enough, that his love for us is enough for us to be kind to our enemies. He is teaching that he sees and remembers what we do for him, that he will provide earthly blessings as we need them; that he will deliver justice, that he will give us what we ask for and draw near to us when we draw near to him, that he will provide us with trustworthy spiritual leaders and that those who believe and have faith to the point of action will stand firm.

Whether I’m taking classes in Family Studies or Management & Leadership, the lessons Jesus teaches here are recognized as best practices when working with others. These disciplines aren’t recognizing things like meekness, humility and love as best practices because Jesus tells us too, but rather because they just make sense. Being humble during a conflict with someone else will deescalate like nothing else because how do you argue with someone who is truly humble? This is the evidence I point to when talking to non-believers about why I personally believe that God exists and that he created us. I don’t know enough about science to use proof from that field, but I do know God’s instructions for interpersonal relationships are what makes the most sense and even what research shows to be best. Every time I read Jesus’s teaching or see them in action, I am in awe at God’s perfect wisdom.

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