TED Talks have taken the world by storm, with experts doling out facts and knowledge on a plethora of subjects. But what would it look like if Jesus were to give one of these informative speeches today?
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That’s a question that fascinated Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, as he pondered what it would look like to hear Christ deliver one of these 18-minute speeches.
“I thought to myself, ‘If Jesus were to come back today and give a TED talk, what would He talk about?’ And then it hit me: we already have His TED Talk. It’s called the Sermon on the Mount.”
Jeffress said readers could consume the entirety of the Sermon on the Mount in 18 minutes but, despite its brevity, Jesus’ talk contains so many essential elements to the human experience.
“Though it’s brief, it touches on the subjects we care about most,” he said. “Straight talk from the Savior about your money, about your sex life, about prayer, about your eternal destiny, about how to deal with your enemies.”
Listen to Jeffress break down the importance of the Sermon on the Mount:
As Jeffress explored the Sermon on the Mount, he said he decided to take a fresh look at its contents to see “how it applies today,” and his book, “18 Minutes with Jesus: Straight Talk from the Savior About the Things That Matter Most,” was soon born.
Despite the notoriety of the Sermon on the Mount, Jeffress said he believes many people don’t fully grasp the power and pertinence of Christ’s message.
“I’m going to make a confession to you: I’ve preached for over 40 years and I have never, until recently, preached a series on the Sermon on the Mount. Because one reason: I thought it would be boring,” he said. “The trap I had fallen into came from my seminary training. I was told in seminary that the Sermon on the Mount has no application for today. It’s the constitution for the Millennial Kingdom. It’s how we’re going to behave in the Millennium or how we’re to behave in heaven.”
But Jeffress said he came to understand how Christ’s words were timeless and also apply to the world we live in today.
“I came to understand the Sermon on the Mount isn’t just for the hereafter; it’s for the here and now,” he said. “It’s a radical way of living, yet people who live according to this plan can have unshakable joy in this life, and unending happiness in the next life.”
Jeffress said people’s quality of life would improve if they follow Christ’s advice in the Sermon on the Mount — something that’s desperately needed in our chaotic culture.
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