Session 1 - May 4 (12:00 noon) and May 7 (9:30 am)

  • Chris started off by taking a 3-question Zoom poll about what we’d like to hear, what we’ve heard, and what we’re familiar with in regards to the Sermon on the Mount. 
  • Click here for Chris’ slides and notes.
  • Bedrock stability comes as a result of hearing His words and putting them into practice. Academic approaches to Jesus’ words will only lead to shallow understanding and no foundation for the storms that are inevitable.
  • We then followed up with some discussion about what would make this conversation/class beneficial for us.

Session 2 - May 11 (12:00 noon) and May 14 (9:30 am)

  • Chris reviewed the setting for Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. 
  • Click here for Chris’ slides and notes.
  • Jesus started his teaching by catching people's attention with shocking statements ... blessed are those who are hungry or persecuted or poor or meek, etc. Jesus turned everything upside down, reaching out and touching those the culture marginalized (lepers, tax collectors, etc.) 
  • Chris challenged us to consider who we marginalize? In what ways does Jesus need us to be saltier and brighter?
  • Final thought: When you're in darkness and see light, you are drawn to it. May we be a reflection of Jesus' light and draw others to Him.
NOTE FOR THURSDAY CLASS: We'll be shifting class time from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. See you next week!

Session 3 - May 18 (12:00 noon) and May 21 (10:00 am)

  • Chris reviewed his outline for Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. 
  • Click here for Chris’ slides and notes.
  • Jesus did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill the Law—to shed new light on it. The Pharisees were just like today’s lawyers in that they were experts at finding loopholes and work-arounds to the law … while violating the heart of the law.  Legalism gets in the way of true religion - true faith. The point is that God wants more than legalism.
  • Jesus' approach to certain issues provides a rhythm and structure: 1) You have heard ..., 2) I say ..., 3) My followers internalize principles, 4) My followers externalize behavior
  • Final thought: The law of God is about the Heart of God. Pursue righteousness - not right-ness.
NOTE FOR TUESDAY CLASS: Because Monday, 5/25, is Memorial Day, we're shifting on Tuesday at noon for next week.
NOTE FOR THURSDAY CLASS: We are shifting class time from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. See you next week!

Session 4 - May 26 (12:00 noon) and May 28 (10:00 am)

  • Chris led a discussion about Jesus and the Law, based on Matthew 5:48. When we're challenged to "be perfect (tanem) as your heavenly Father is perfect," that word is better translated as "wholly given."
  • What comes to mind when you think of "discipleship?" Is it a sermon or class with people sitting and listening to a lesson? Is it a worship experience? Perhaps a better image is that of an athlete in training.
  • Click here for Chris's slides and notes.
  • Jesus taught that discipleship is to be lived out so that it seen by God, not done to be observed by others for human praise.

Session 5- June 1 (12:00 noon) and June 4 (Sorry, but this session was cancelled. See you next wk)

  • Chris led a discussion about Jesus' followers and what they're really after. 
  •  Maslow's hierarchy of needs puts forward that people are motivated by five basic categories of needs: physiological, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization. The verse in Matthew 6:32 tells us that our Heavenly Father knows all that we need.
  • Chris outlined four teaching points on pursuit and we read Scripture that applies to each one. 
  • Click here for Chris's slides and notes.
  • The group then discussed the various areas in which we might struggle to ask God for our needs or wants. 

Session 6 - June 8 (noon) and June 4 (10:00 am)

  • Chris reminded us of the framework of the Sermon on the Mount: 1) What discipleship is, 2) What keeping the law means, 3) what discipleship looks like, and 4) What disciples pursue.
  • What Jesus had to say that day is what He continues to say to us today. His teaching holds true regardless of time, culture, or setting ... it's eternal.
  • Attendees were asked to consider some questions for the road ahead:
    What's a fresh realization you've had about following Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount?
    What's a challenge you want to make for yourself; an area you plan to strengthen in your walk after Christ?
    What's a pursuit you plan to change based on Jesus' teachings?
  • Click here for Chris's slides and notes.
  • Final thought: Jesus came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it and change change our perspective of it ("You have heard ... I say ..."). Circumstances demand that we be flexible with doctrine. The story about the woman caught in adultery had no gray area according to the law, but Grace gives flexibility ("let he who is without sin cast the first stone").