As we finished our series on the Sermon on the Mount this past week, we started by highlighting how many times Jesus set himself up as the ultimate authority. He didn't quote from other teachers or prophets, but simply stated "I say to you!" He claimed authority on human happiness, relationships, salvation, and judgment. In the final verse, the crowds were amazed at the way he taught, because of this authority. Some would accept that authority and do what he said, while obviously others would ponder his words, and not apply them to their personal lives.
The sermon of Jesus, as a whole, invariably contains some aspects that will be more difficult than others. But, his words stand, and they are to be received and applied in any age and any culture.
One of the dangers, is walking away contemplative, but unchanged.
Yes, it is hard to make personal changes, but a humble heart is willing to ask, "Are you asking something of me in this area?" The very last illustration in his sermon explained that he who hears and does these words of mine will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And conversely, he who hears and does not do these words of mine will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. May the Lord stir our hearts, not to be hearers only, but out of personal love for him, may we do and apply personally what he has asked.