Following are several quotes from N. T. Wright’s 2011 publication, Simply Jesus, New York: Harper One, 218-219.
· “The Beatitudes are the agenda for kingdom people. They are not simply about how to behave, so that God will do something nice to you. They are about the way in which Jesus wants to rule the world. He wants to do it through this sort of people – people, actually, just like himself (read the Beatitudes again and see). The Sermon on the Mount is a call to Jesus’s followers to take up their vocation; as salt to the earth – in other words, as people through whom Jesus’s kingdom vision is to become a reality. This is how to be the people through whom the victory of Jesus over the power of sin and death is to be implemented in the wider world.”
· “The work of the kingdom; in fact, is summed up pretty well in those Beatitudes. When God wants to change the world, he doesn’t send in the tanks. He sends in the meek, the mourners; those who are hungry, and thirsty for God’s justice; the peacemakers, and so on …
*Jesus rules the world through those who launch new initiatives that radically challenge the accepted ways of doing things; jubilee projects …
· “In the New Testament, ‘good works’ are what Christians are supposed to be doing in and for the wider community. That is how the sovereignty of Jesus is put into effect.”
Just suppose the church today, be it traditional, contemporary, missional, emergent, or whatever, would take seriously the words of Jesus as given in the Beatitudes of Matthew five (Bible)? It would be revolutionary! It would be traditional, contemporary, missional, emergent, all the rest. It would inspire holiness of lifestyle among believers. It would be unifying beyond comprehension. It would be the wonder of the non-Christian world.
It would change world diplomacy! Consider the present stand-off in the Ukraine; it would unify Russia, Europe, and the United States in creating a win-win situation for the Ukraine, the Crimea, and all the confronting parties who feel they have an interest. That would transform the punitive competition into a common family concerned with global issues.
While liberal theologians dissect the teachings of Jesus and Paul, the gospel according to Jesus began with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus rather than the commentaries of Paul about Jesus.
I suggest that we begin this Easter—believers and unbelievers alike and make the teachings of Jesus the first priority of our personal lives, our national politics, and our world diplomacy. It would transform our lives, personally and individually. It would redeem our nation and our civic relationships. It would restructure our global relationships into the singular family that really makes up humanity.
From Warner’s World, this is walkingwithwarner suggesting a win-win for the world of the global-family that God created. . .