“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
— Matthew 5: 33-42

There are many attributes that Jesus possessed. We think of the obvious ones like, Love, mercy, forgiveness, and acceptance. One of his attributes that we would not normally think of is his 'directness of speech'. As far as the bible is concerned there is only one lengthy Sermon recorded, the one we call The Beatitudes. Jesus preferred to talk briefly or at least that is the way the gospels have recorded him. But what he said always carried power, weight and Importance. He knew full well that he was living at a time where it was not the done thing to speak out against the authorities or at least challenge their thinking. His was a type of PC world as ours is today. Yet he spoke with grace and truth.   When he spoke, he made people think twice about their preconceived ideas about Themselves, about God, and about others. He was in effect saying, listen up, pay attention.  Jesus is still the same yesterday, today and forever. His words, his message, and their application remain the same today as always. His words never change to suit the shifting Sands of prevailing culture or behaviour. In other words, we can rely completely and fully on Every word he utters. Jesus speaks like no other, unlike ourselves who's words are nuanced and fallible.  Much ground over the last 20 years has been lost by the western church where we have slipped away from being known as 'people of the word'. It is an area we need to reclaim for the sake of the church and the kingdom.


Alan Wilson, Interim Minister