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The Path is a Person

• Dan Kent

The end of the Sermon on the Mount offers two ways, or two paths to follow. In this sermon, Dan introduces the tradition of the Two Ways and then connects the way of life to the way of Jesus.

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In this sermon, Dan Kent examines what is called the Two Ways Tradition, which lies behind the teaching of Jesus in this part of the Sermon on the Mount. In the Old Testament and in Jewish tradition, God is shown as offering a choice between two options, one of life and the other of death. This is illustrated by the two trees in the garden and in Deuteronomy 30, where Moses tells the people that God has set before them two paths, one that will lead to blessing and the other to death.

The Sermon on the Mount ends with such an offering. It begins with the challenge to ask, seek and knock, and then it proceeds with a list of binary options: narrow and wide gates, true and false prophets, true and false disciples, and wise and foolish builders.

Then Jesus says that not all who proclaim the name of Jesus will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, that he will tell many he does not know them. The interesting thing about this passage is that people may know about Jesus, but he is not known by them. There is a lack of personal connection because the way of life is a way of knowing Jesus. The way is a person, not a set of theological confessions. Discipleship is relational because this way of life is about being in relationship with Jesus, as John 14:6 says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

This means that if we are going to progress on the way of life, we must move beyond theories and ideas about God and actually put our beliefs into practice. We must engage the living Christ who is with us and walk with Him on the way. Discipleship is an experience of loving and being loved, even if we don’t know how to do it. This way is challenging because Jesus is no longer here with us physically, so we walk by faith, receiving this love and being known by Jesus.

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Topics: Discipleship, Relationships

Sermon Series: Sermon on the Mount, The Two Ways


Downloads & Resources

Audio File
Study guide
Group Study Guide
The MuseCast: November 1


Focus Scripture:

  • Matthew 7:7-11

    Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

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4 thoughts on “The Path is a Person

  1. Steve says:

    Dan,
    Excellent sermon today. You asked for other ideas for getting to know Jesus on a personal basis. The depiction of Jesus in the video series ‘The Chosen’ has been very helpful for me in seeing him as a real person who I can know personally.

    1. Dan says:

      Yes!
      That has been a great blessing for me as well. Thanks Steve!

      Dan

  2. Denise says:

    I have listened to this sermon multiple times since Dan spoke and what a blessing it was and is each time. I’ve been a believer for many, many years and have heard many amazing sermons (20 years+ at Woodland alone) but this one really brought it home to me personally how Jesus is the path. We can know every Bible chapter and verse, discuss theologies, and lead an exemplary life and still now be connected to the way, the truth, and the life-a personal Jesus. Thank you for the message and thank you for your transparency and how the Spirit leads you.

  3. Dan says:

    Thank you so much, Denise, for sharing your reaction to my sermon. I’m deeply grateful that the sermon connected with you like it did.

    And you’re right: the world is a carnival of things that don’t matter if we end up disconnected from personal relationship with Jesus.

    Dan Kent

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