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Revival on the Mount
The Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7) is a revival sermon. It wasn’t delievered in a cathedral to a bunch of silent church-goers, but in the midst of a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit where mighty miracles were occuring. Matthew describes how people came from far away in order to be blessed by the miraculous power that was flowing out from the hands of Jesus (4:23-25). I imagine the scenery as in the clip above, but even better. Every single one got healed: those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed. Revival fires were blazing!
But when Jesus starts to preach, He doesn’t talk about “the anointing”, “open heavens”, “glory invasion” or some other Charismatic cliche. He talks about Kingdom lifestyle and holiness: doing good deeds, loving enemies, giving to the needy, fasting, praying, not storing treasures on earth, not judging people, doing to others what you would have them do to you, and so on. As I’ve written in a previous blog post, it is unfortunately unusal in many parts of the church today that faith healers speak about enemy love and denouncing wealth, or that Christian activists conduct healing crusades.
This is a shame, because I am convinced that not only does the Sermon on the Mount contain instructions for living an activist life that makes the world a better place, it is also a key for Charismatic breakthrough. Immediately after Jesus has delivered His sermon, He heals a guy with leprosy (8:1-4), then a paralyzed boy (vv. 5-13), and after that a whole group of sick and possessed people (vv. 14-17). Directly after stating that the Father will give us good gifts when we ask for it, He tells us to do to others as we would have them do to us (7:9-12). The gifts of the Spirit are given by grace, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive for holiness. On the contrary, if we do not act according to the commands of Jesus, our spiritual house may fall “with a great crash” (7:24-27).