A Checkup from the Neck Up

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness…” (Matthew 6: 22, 23)

Jesus began His greatest discourse by teaching His disciples that if they wanted to be His solution and His answer to the problems people have in this world, they needed a checkup from the neck up.  According to the verses above, the right attitude can be the difference between light and darkness in our lives and in the lives of those with whom we relate every day.

He therefore gave them eight blessed attitudes that would make them salt and light for Him in this world, as through them he would make the difference between a life filled with darkness (unhappiness, depression) and a life filled with light (happiness and meaning) for themselves and for those to whom He would send them.

This discourse is called “The Sermon on the Mount” and it is recorded for us in the Gospel of Matthew chapters five, six and seven.  Before looking at these eight attitudes individually it’s good to make some observations about them as a unit.  They divide into two sections between the fifth and sixth attitudes and they fit into four couplets.  The first section could be called the attitudes we must learn while coming to God through Christ, and the second section describes the attitudes we must learn while going for Christ as salt and light.

The four couplets are the poor in spirit who mourn; the meek who hunger and thirst for what is right; the merciful with a pure heart and the peacemakers who get persecuted.

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