40 Days of Hope
Monday, April 15
As One with Authority
Theological Particularity – I have already mentioned this phrase in our journey. It refers to the absolute claims of Jesus. It means that if Jesus’ claims are true, then all other claims cannot be true. There is a singularity and a particularity to what Jesus taught about Himself.
On Palm Sunday, we examined the famous statement from Jesus: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The exclusiveness of this declaration is at the heart of what theologians mean by the phrase Theological Particularity.
Jesus’ teaching in John 14 is consistent with the Gospel message found throughout the New Testament. The Jesus Way is just the only way. There are many other examples in all four Gospels that support this teaching. For example, consider our text for today.
Matthew offers the most expansive version of the Sermon on the Mount. Luke shares some of these teachings from Jesus in another sermon in his Gospel account. However, Matthew’s version is the fullest expression of this power-packed message from Jesus.
After addressing multiple topics, Jesus concludes the sermon with a memorable image. He compares two builders: a wise man and a foolish man. The wise builder chooses the firm foundation of stone for his home, while the foolish builder constructs his house upon sand. They both look good from an external perspective. However, the moment of truth arrives when the storms blow in. The house built on the secure foundation stands strong in the face of the storms. The foolish builder’s home crumbles in the midst of the storm.
Jesus makes the bold claim that only His teachings can serve as a sure foundation for a person’s life. If you refuse His teachings, your life will crumble at the weight of the storms of life. Once again --- wow! This is an example of Theological Particularity. His Way is the only way! His truth is the only truth that will sustain us.
When He concluded the message, the crowd was amazed because He taught as One with authority. Indeed. He is Son of God. He is the Word made flesh. He is the Hope of the ages. He is our Savior. Praise His Name.
Holy Week has begun. Ask God to speak to you each day of this important week. Take some time today to reflect on the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ!
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