We discuss the sharp contrasts between God's commandments as taught by Jesus and our natural human instincts. We explored how the acts of initiation (i.e. circumcision and baptism) into God's covenant community symbolize this dichotomy, and the practical implications for daily living.
We discuss several key aspects of the sermon on the plain, including the deeper meaning of the location of the sermon, the use of the term Son of Man, and the number (four) of blessings and woes. We then turned to the anti-imperial nature of the blessings and woes given by Jesus, viewing them in light of that general anti-imperial theme found throughout Scripture.