Are Jesus and Paul on the Same Page? (part two)
When Jesus seems to preach works-righteousness
posted 08/27/12See theme
In part 1 of this series, I argued that there is a fundamental unity to the Gospels and the Epistles.
Still, despite all the talk of diversity within a fundamental unity, preachers of the Gospels—let alone readers!—are troubled by texts in which Jesus seems to preach works-righteousness rather than faith as the means of receiving God's salvation. A brief survey of two especially problematic teachings can help us see that Jesus' message, though articulated at times a bit differently than Paul's, is still an offer of salvation by grace through faith and not as a result of works. To keep the survey brief, I will limit the discussion to these teachings as they are recorded in Matthew's Gospel. What we discover there will help us read the parallel accounts in the Luke's Gospel as well as various texts in the other three Gospels that seem to hint at works-righteousness.
The first challenging text brings Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 to a stirring conclusion. According to ...