Living Jesus

Anyone wishing to follow Jesus must confront and apply the Sermon on the Mount, comprising chapters 5-7 of Matthew's Gospel. This is what Randy Harris (and coauthor Greg Taylor) seek to do in their recent book, Living Jesus: Doing What Jesus Says in the Sermon on the Mount.

After a brief introduction that lays out the premise of the book and the importance of taking Jesus' words seriously, as imperatives for the authentic Christian life, the authors treat the Sermon on the Mount in twelve chapters. I loved the decision to begin the treatment of the text with the last six verses of the Sermon on the Mount, stressing Jesus' emphasis on actually building one's life on his words. Chapters two through twelve then expound on the themes of Jesus' sermon, such as his call to "deep integrity" (chapter 7) and to charitable judgment (chapter 11). Each chapter concludes with two helpful sections providing discussion questions appropriate for group study and practical actions to help the reader actually do what Jesus says.

My favorite parts of the book were the second chapter, titled "You Are Blessed," in which the authors emphasize the beauty of Jesus opening his discourse with blessings rather than commands, and (especially) the final chapter, describing the covenant community Harris has begun among college students who commit to "a rule of life" consisting of the Sermon on the Mount.

Living Jesus is a helpful, insightful study of the Sermon on the Mount, and a unique call to Christian discipleship.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your review! I too really appreciate the idea that we must have God's blessing before we can even begin to live out the commands.