Alright, we are in the book of Matthew. We went over the beatitudes last time. Now we are going over some of the other teachings of Jesus. Let us begin in prayer asking for guidance and wisdom.
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.Matthew 5:12 NASB
Salt, now this is one of those words that Christians like to say and everyone else does not have a clue what it means. Its salt, makes food taste good and keeps ice off roads. However there are other properties to salt. Like when your biting into that really salty burger from who know how long. Thats a property of salt. It preserves. It also makes you thirsty and if I have pointed this out before I am sorry. Thirst is indicative of scripture. So when you hear salt, you should think ministering. Salt also is an irritant… let that sink in for a moment.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.Matthew 5:14-16 NASB
Light is radiant. It shines forth on everything and defeats darkness simply by being present. Where there is light there cannot be darkness. Likewise Jesus is telling us, our words and actions must be upright and share it with everyone.
17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.Matthew 5:17-18 NASB
This is often misquoted, or misunderstood, this is saying to take the scriptures seriously. He is not saying to disregard them. Rather he is saying that the scriptures are being fulfilled by him, and him alone.
19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 5:19-20 NASB
This is really a big point Jesus was making. By the law we were made aware of our sins. By faith alone we are saved. He is saying we should keep these things. The Pharisees knew the law. They had the whole thing memorized. They felt superior to others.
Jesus was saying that to keep the law when people are watching is one thing. However, you have to keep the law at ALL TIMES if you want to be saved by the law. Which the scribes and Pharisees did not do. He was making a point that no one else fulfilled what is what is written in the law. So no one is entering the kingdom, right?
No, that is something that I have heard. See we are allowed in by grace. Now that is not to say we don’t have to love God and do right, because if we love God we will do what is right. Don’t twist that and think I am saying you are right, because you love God. Rather I am saying you WILL do what is right if you love God. By loving God, you will naturally love his son. Likewise you will love your neighbor. See how that works? Love the most high and you love everyone below.
21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’Matthew 5:21 NASB
Right, I think everyone can agree to that.
22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.Matthew 5:22 NASB
Our society today does not understand the cost of anger. Really I have seen this in my own life. People get angry with you and they write you out of there life. It is murder in the heart. How many people are you angry with? Did you know that can keep you from God? If you are angry with someone seek them out. Try to make amense and if you can’t, you need to pray that God will give you a forgiving spirit. It can really be a stoubling block for a lot of Christians.
23 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.Matthew 5:23 NASB
So, basically Jesus is saying that you will be held to account for people you were angry with. Your brother or opponent in this instance is everyone. Some would argue it only applies to Christians and other say its only Jews. However I would like to believe the standard is high than that.
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.Matthew 5:27-28 NASB
This is a hard pill to swallow. Especially in this day and age. The same goes for women too. Our culture uplifts being sexy. It is one of the best things to be. This is why many faiths contrary to ours cover themselves up. To avoid sexualizing people. It is very hard to deal with for most of us. However, keep this in mind.
29 If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.Matthew 5:29 NASB
I shudder to think when I read this that is what Jesus meant. However, I believe he might be literal here. Though it also is analogous to sin itself and its tenancy to grow out of control in our lives. Consuming all of what we do.
30 If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.Matthew 5:30 NASB
Furthering the language, I am once again troubled by this but none the less we should avoid sin. Basically if you don’t want to lop off body parts don’t sin.
31 “It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’; 32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.Matthew 5:31 NASB
Adultery is one thing people tend to overlook. It is awful when people marry and marry again. Especially when there was no cheating involved in their relationship. Our modern day world does not see things this way. It is difficult because you are seen as being old fashioned if you adhere to this but reality is if you get a divorce that is it. Accept for when they you not faithful to you.
33 “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.Matthew 5:33-37 NASB
Isn’t it funny how Christian’s fight for them be swear on a Bible when that very book tell us not to do it. You should never swear on anything. Make sure your promises mean something.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.Matthew 5:38-40 NASB
Once again, this is a bit of a tricky teaching. What Jesus is saying is if it isn’t much to you let them have it. This does not mean if you are being robbed not to resist then. It means if you are dealing with a problem that is over something small let them have it. Taking a hit to the face is painful in the moment but ultimately will heal. It was also customary for a Roman to be able to strike you once but twice was illegal.
41 Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.Matthew 5:41-42 NASB
A Roman soldier could ask you to carry his burden for one mile. So Jesus is saying go two. Once again it is rightful to allow someone to borrow from you once. However if they have already borrowed from you, you don’t let them again, not until there debt is paid.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.Matthew 5:43-48 NASB
Love your enemies. That sums up this entire teaching. Tax collector were looked at as thieves with Roman protection. Christ is calling for us to be perfect. A standard that is impossible to keep, yet we must keep it. We should attempt to keep this as completely and within our power as we can. I mean with upmost diligence. It is hard, but it is true.
Thank you for reading this, may God bless you all of your days.