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We take a close, fresh look at what is perhaps the most famous sermon of all history, the speech by Jesus Christ known as The Sermon on the Mount.
Due to time constraints, we'll narrow our field of examination and focus on the introductory statements, known as The Beatitudes, or The Blessed Be's, the 8 Blissful States of Being.
Someone recently said that while it's sad to see the 10 Commandments removed from schools and public places, the Sermon on the Mount is so radical, it would never be posted publicly.
President Obama said, in a 2006 speech, in justifying not using the Bible as a basis for politics, that if the Sermon on the Mount was government policy, "so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application." Later he said the economy couldn't survive without it.
Why is this sermon of Jesus so controversial? Is it possible to live according to its ideas and demands? Are they hyperbole, exaggerations, ideals expressed in super extreme language just to be memorable? Or are they challenging us to strive for the perfection that is God Himself?
Why would Jesus praise these qualities if they were unattainable or unsustainable? Will He give us the power and wisdom we need to implement such lofty ideals?
If Jesus said "Blessed be..." various types of people, how can we start to be such people in our practical, daily lives?
It's good to talk.