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Day #32: Thursday, April 2

Movie of the Week: The Gospel According to St. Matthew by Pier Paolo Pasolini 1964

Clip: 41:37 – 47:55

Old Testament: Proverbs 1:1-7

New Testament: Matthew 5-7

Practice: Meditation

Music: “He Leadeth Me;” “Where He Leads Me” by Hank Williams; “Lily of the Valley” by Johnny Cash

            Seeing how movies are visual, in our traipse through Jesus movies we have had a tendency to focus on Jesus’ activities more than his teachings. It is especially difficult for filmmakers to include Jesus’ extended teachings while also having a movie that moves along at a good pace and keeps the viewer engaged (biblically themed movies have long been accused of being boring by critics).

            I really enjoy how Pier Paolo Pasolini includes Jesus’ teaching in this clip from the movie. He does what the Bible writers often do: string several of Jesus’ teachings together without regard to the context. This clip begins with teachings from the Sermon on the Mount before moving on to several of his other teachings sprinkled throughout Matthew.

            Jesus’ most extensive teaching anywhere in the Bible is in the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5, 6, and 7. Years ago I read somewhere that people believe this may be the only sermon of Jesus recorded in its entirety. I’m not sure I would go that far, but Jesus did clearly have an extended teaching on a mountainside (Matthew) or in a field (Luke) that contained a good deal of material about how God’s people are to live and what the kingdom of God is like. Rather than pontificated on this section very long, I would encourage you to just spend some time reflecting and meditating on Jesus’ teaching. Read through the three chapters of Matthew slowly and carefully allowing the teachings that most connect with you to speak to you. Why do those verse stand out to you? What is God trying to say to you in these teachings?

            This is a long reading but take your time and don’t rush. Imagine listening to these words from Jesus for the first time.

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