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Window of the Month
Our Lady of Grace, Dearborn Heights, Michigan

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Building Name: Third Reformed Church

City: Holland

Window Shape: 2 (rectangle)

Subject/Title of Window: Sermon on the Mount

Brief Description of Subject: Sermon on the Mount
Matt:1,2 “And seeing the multitudes. He went up into the mountain: and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him. And he opened His mouth and taught them.

There is no complicated interpretation of this representation which we have the sermon on the mount. There are just three things that I would like to point out to you which you might miss in your own personal study that if Jesus were in the act of teaching the people His hands would be His arms would be outstretched in invitation. But such is not the case. The hands and arms of Jesus are raised in benediction. This is the Christ who blesses the people with His teaching. It is the end of the discourse for the day, and now He is giving to them his final blessing.

The second instructive point which you might miss is the faces of the people who are listening. They show us the effect that the teachings of the Master have upon the hearts of the hearers. The old man in the foreground has his hands clasped in his lap and his face in adoration and wonder. Directly behind him there is a youth with his hands across his breast in the act of consecrating his life to the teachings which Jesus has given. Behind these two men, the young and the old, are two women, one of whom has one of whom has one hand over her heart and the other arm raised to her forehead. Here is condition, remorse, sorrow for sin and confession and has been reminded through the speaking of her own unworthiness and need of help.  With downcast eyes she accepts her lot and her commission; she sees her duty and is willing to do it. The last three figures are the inquirers who have heard the Lord for the first time and are amazed at his teachings. Not yet have they been convinced but they are tremendously interested. They will go home to think it all over and com again to heart more of what this powerful teacher has to say. These people give to us the reminder of all the various reactions which a congregation might give to the preaching of the word of God.

Thirdly, let me draw your attention to the emblem at the bottom of the window. It is a cross with a wreath of oak leaves set upon a mountain. This is not the mountain of crucifixion, but the mountain upon which Christ taught, and the oak leaves designate the strength of the Cross. It reminds me that the Sermon on the Mount leads directly to the cross.

These three instructive detail’s give us the message of the picture and also the outline of this sermon.
The first fact is that Jesus has blessed us with his great teaching ministry as well as by his death and resurrection.
Jesus’s prophetic ministry was the culmination of centuries of teaching on the part of the prophets. To Abraham a revelation had been made. It was broadcast out to Moses and made emphatic by all the events of the history of Israel. It gained breadth and depth through Elijah and named for Jesus to gather together all the teachings of the past and give them real meaning. With Him the revelation of God to man was complete.

This teaching ministry was necessary. There can be no true religion on the basis of superstition and false ideas of God. There can be no true religion unless we understand ourselves as god sees us. Nor can we ever reach a true religious purpose in life unless we know the great ideal which God has set for us as His Children.

The second lesson from the window is suggested to us by looking at the people who are listening to Jesus. The reaction to the teaching of Jesus should be repentance and confession and the dedication of our lives to him.  In the picture we have it all; the old man with a lifetime of earnest seeking behind him. Now at last he has found the great and satisfying truth. The young behind him who have seen the vision of the perfect life and is at this moment giving himself body and the soul to serve his Master. The two women humbly remembering their unworthiness and finding salvation in the confession of their sins. The three in the background, spell bound by the Master and struggling with the knowledge of their own selfish and worldly life.
Let us have it straight once and for all. The Sermon on the Mount is not just some fine extolling of the virtues of men. It probes deep into the heart of every one of us. It was the Pharisees and Scribes of that day who had made religion shall and had tried to whitewash their inner sins by an outward conformity to ceremonial law. The person who reads and preaches the sermon on the mount is not just preaching and reading a new law for a new social day here upon earth. He is reading the most heart searching and the most humbling piece of literature that ever was written. There is no evading the real law of God.

In the emblem of this window we find a cross on top of a mountain. And that is a true symbol of the meaning of the Sermon on the Mount. It was Jesus way of preparing the minds and hearts of his hearers for the great redemption that would follow.
How so? In this way, Any person who studies the Sermon on the Mount must come away feeling his own unworthiness and sin and he must have that hopelessness lost feeling that he has not been fulfilling the law of God, nor can he ever perfectly live up to the ideal that Jesus has set for him. There is no hope except that he can come to the foot of the Cross and plead the redemption of the promises that Christ made of forgiveness for all those who believe in him. There is no other way.

Sermon On the Mount
Sermon On the Mount

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