When Jesus began to have huge followings, He gave one of His most impactful teachings, which we call The Sermon on the Mount. He told us that those will be blessed who are poor in spirit, who mourn, who are meek, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, who are pure in heart, who are peacemakers, and who are persecuted for righteousness sake. (Matt 5)
This teaching was to a crowd who came out to hear the now famous teacher from Nazareth. He’d performed miracles of healing, maybe He would do something they could witness. Maybe they did hunger and thirst for righteousness sake so they wanted to know what He would teach. It was a diverse crowd, yet Jesus managed to deliver a message that would be transformative if they received it and understood it.
But the Sermon on the Mount is just basic kingdom teaching. It outlines the basis of what our lives should look like if we call ourselves followers of Christ – be humble, be kind, be merciful, etc. The crowd Jesus taught had no clue where He was going with this message because He taught so unlike the scribes and the Pharisees. He had to keep it basic so the people had a place to start their understanding of His kingdom.
But there is so much more. When Nicodemus came to Jesus to understand what he was hearing, Jesus said to him, If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? (John 3:11) Nicodemus was hearing the basics that Jesus taught the crowds and he struggled to understand it. Jesus was never able to really teach the mysteries of the kingdom as long as the basics were so hard to grasp.
We have the advantage of scripture and the Holy Spirit. We have the option to hunger and thirst for righteousness and be filled. There is more to than Basic Jesus than simply being kind. Of course, nothing deeper can be learned if the basics are not working in our lives. By following those foundational rules, we are the wise ones building our house on solid rock. It gives us a grid to take on the heavenly things God has been waiting to give us. Don’t be satisfied with basic. Press in for the more that awaits.