RELATIONSHIPS are what God, the gospel, life, Jesus, wisdom, truth and love are all about. We could also say that God authored life as a relational exercise, from start to finish. The gospel message in itself pivots on the hinge of God’s desire to reach into a fallen humanity and make a way for broken humanity to be restored to relationship.
Yes, the gospel is about restoration to relationship.
The Sermon on the Mount of Jesus’ is God’s message to everyone eternally. It is thick in the relational setting — people relating with God, each other and themselves.
When we come at the Sermon on the Mount in such a direction — restoration to relationship — Jesus teaching the way, then showing that way by his life — we start to read passages like Matthew 7:1-5 through a heart for others.
Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” And, “Take care to address your own sins first, before you criticise others.” (Seeing as how we never truly ‘address’ our own sins — though Jesus has addressed our sin if we are saved — we never get to viably criticise others.)
We know it’s bad to judge others — that it runs against restoration to relationship — but we also, all, have a problem not judging others. We have our biases. We lose control over our words, or our words go ahead of our wiser minds. We find ourselves coerced into judging others because of others’ opinions. We are too easily hurt... and so the list goes on.
We forget God’s original design — to or for relationship. We were designed to relate.
Restoring God’s original design can only be done one interaction at a time. But we do carry with us the ability to learn, so we can apply a higher relational standard the longer we live.
It’s all about others. The more we can put others first, the more God puts us first. The better we relate the more restored we feel.
The gospel is about restoration to relationship. To relate is to be restored, but to relate in the perfection of love, or as close to, is really the idea.
Restoration to relationship — the gospel precept — is God’s greatest work in a single human being. When our relationship with God is restored all our human relationships are on that same restoration pathway.
QUESTIONS in REVIEW:
1. Restored to relationship. When, if ever, have you been convinced of the value of being restored to relationship?
2. How can you be convinced of the value of restoration through relationship?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.