My Scripture paraphrases

The Sermon On The Mount-(My modern take)

And Jesus, seeing all the needy people around him, seeing that what they wanted was food and health; decided that what they really needed was to be taught. Taught what was practical and real.

So, he went up into a mountain, sat down and when his disciples had gathered around, he opened his mouth and said:

J“If you want to be happy: be aware of the fact that (without me) you are weak, ignorant, blind and naked.

Only then will you be allowed into my Kingdom. Only then will you ask and I will give you: eye salve that you might see, white robes of righteousness to cover your nakedness, gold purified in the fires of suffering”

“If you want to be happy: join with me in feeling my pain and sorrow. Feel, with me, the damage your sin and the sin of others is causing in human life. Are you looking for comfort? Then join in my pain and I will send the comforter to comfort you. Nothing else you turn to, can provide comfort.”

“If you want to be happy:  then, when confronted by enemies, respond with calm assurance. Your calmness will cause the enemy to examine their position. Then you will take over the earth and fill it with calm assurance.”

“If you want to be happy:  then let me make you passionately aware of your need for more righteousness. You need to thirst for it like a deer running through the woods panting for more truth. Then you will have the joy of fulfillment.”

“If you want to be happy: then, when hurt and in a position to bring consequences, take upon yourself the consequences that the other person cannot bear. Yes, leave the natural consequences of their behavior but walk it with them. You will in turn receive mercy from God, who will take upon himself the consequences that you cannot bear and help you benefit from the natural consequences of your choices, and walk your valley with you.”

“If you want to be happy: then ask God to help you match your inner heart thoughts with your external actions and lead you, in your heart of hearts, to seek, not your own gain, but the best interest of the other person, God’s kingdom and his glory. Then you will see God in the present, in the people around you and in eternity. “

“If you want to be happy: then help people be at peace with each other and with me. Help them to see that everyone is made by me, loved by me, and belong to me. Then you will be called the child of my father who is not willing than any should die and is not a respecter of persons.”

“If you want to be happy: then get persecuted because of my name. (Do not worry, you do not have to seek persecution it will come to you.) Then remind yourself that you get to be part of an elite group and will have piles of treasure when you get to heaven.”

“Make sure that your life brings life to others, “salting their lives” bringing flavor and vitality to them.”
“Take the light that is in you, given to you by me, the Light of the World, and do not hide it but share it in the darkness for others to find their way.”
“The law is simply a collection of wisdom principles, which, if you did, would make your life and the life of those around you richer and healthier.  However, you cannot keep the law by yourself.  I did not come to do away with these wise and healthy rules, but to make it possible for you to live above and beyond the surface rules of legalizers, and find the health that these rules bring.  So, it is important for you to teach others both the rules of living and how to find strength to live them.”

“The problem is not that the religious legalists set too high in standard.  The problem is that their standard is not high enough! Only an “impossible” standard will drive you to God for the strength to live up to it.”

“For example you say, “don’t murder” but that is a low standard. /  Instead, if your excuse for anger is that they have stepped on your, “rights”, or if your anger is at the people instead of at their sin, if you call anyone “idiot” or suggest that they are worthless and hopeless they you kill their soul.”

“Going to church so that you can look superior to others, simply offends my father. You should leave the church and go fix the relationships with anyone you have offended and make amends for the hurt you have caused them, and then come back to church.”

“You need to deal with problem relationships immediately, as soon as you realize that you have offended someone.  If you hope the situation will just take care of itself and go away, it won’t, it will just get worse and worse.”

“There is so much sexual sin in the world that people feel especially righteous if they have not committed adultery.  But even looking at a woman as a sex object, (or your wife as just a sex object) is committing adultery.”

“Nothing should be more important than your relationship with me.” 

“No matter how painful it might feel to get rid of something that you like, if it comes between us, you need to get rid of it!  If I told you that you could go ahead and keep doing the activity which you love so much, but that if you do then your right eye would fall out, would you keep doing it? But your eye is not as important as your relationship with me. If you would quit to save your eyeball but you would not quit for me, then I am not the most important thing in your life. “

“You treat divorce like it is no big deal, “just do the paperwork”. But I say to you that I hate divorce, I wanted you to love the wife of your youth so that you could raise the children I give you in the nurture and admonition that comes from me. If you say, “I know that I promised to love her till death, but I made a mistake and want to take back my promise”, then I will not listen to your prayers or accept your worship and will actively destroy everything you do.”
There is no such thing as multitasking or multiloving. You try to love me and also love things. You try to earn my approval and the approval of others. You cannot do it! How long will you hesitate between two commitments?  Either you will love me and hate the world, or you will hate me and love the world, make up your mind.”

“You think it is okay to run around worrying about things like food and clothing and drink? Your life does not consist of the things you have, and worrying will not make you more secure. You should trust my father, he takes care of the sparrows and clothes the lily. What? don’t you think you are worth more than a sparrow? Of course, my father cares for you! He is obsessed with you, he counts the hairs on your head. Besides can you add an inch to your height by worrying about it? Just what exactly does all your worrying accomplish? My father knows what you need, trust him.”

“Notice where your thoughts are going, and turn your worries to seeking God’s Kingdom and his righteousness, and let my father take care of all this other stuff.”

“Especially, let go of worries about tomorrow, don’t you think you have enough trouble to deal with today?”

“Never judge another person’s worth, or hope, or my father’s ability to help them. “

“Do you pride yourself in, “dishing it out with the best”? I tell you, be careful how you “dish it out”, or my father will use the same rules on you that you have used on others. Besides, trying to take out the spec in another person’s eye is dangerous and a waste of time when your own vision is blocked with a spade-full of dirt. Let me wash out your eye for you, so you can see to help your neighbor.”

“I counsel you to be careful when you reach out for help or to give help.  Make sure that the person you help is one of those happy people I have been talking about. If they admit their own need, if they are mourning over the problems of the world etc. then they will accept and return your help. Otherwise, they will just mock and attack you.”

“Why are you so hesitant to ask my father for what you need? Do think he does not care, or that he is not capable?  You do not receive because you do not ask, or you ask and do not get because you ask in order to consume it upon yourself. If your goals are pure, ask and you will receive. After all, my father is the best father anywhere.  And good fathers love to give their children good things.”

“Do you give to others in a 50-50 give-and-take? If they give to you then you will give to them. Well, that will not work. Instead, do for others what you would want them to do for you, even if they do not, or can not, return the favor. Remember your reward does not come from the other person but from your heavenly father. In fact, this principal (Love your neighbor as yourself) fulfills all of the law.”

“Be careful not to follow the crowd, they go through the wide gate, down the broad avenue that leads to death. Instead, follow me and I will lead you through a narrow gate where few people are going but it well lead to life.”

“Do not get carried away with people whose words sound wonderful, instead, look at where their words take you. Does their advice lead you closer to me? Do they lead you to build and encourage the people around you? Do they lead you to become more like me? Ignore their words and look at their fruit.”

“Knowing me, that is the central thing. In everything you do, seek to know me more and I will guide your path. What good is it to run around doing good deeds only to find in the final judgment that I do not know you? In fact, deciding for yourself what is right and wrong, doing it in your own strength, and trying to get credit by whining about how hard it was, is all just iniquity.  Stop it!  I will show you what is right and wrong, I will give you the strength to do the right, and teach you to delight in the process.”

“And please, do not listen to my teaching and walk away thinking, “nice sermon” and then not act on the truth. That would be like building a house with no foundation, as soon as the storm comes along it will be washed away.”

 Build your life on me for I am the solid rock.

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