Study Guide: The Path is a Person

Sunday October 30, 2022 | Dan Kent

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

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.

Extended Summary:

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.

Reflection Questions: