Good morning all,
We continue looking at the Sermon on the Mount together by reading Matthew Chapter 5 verses 21 to 26.
Here is the first of 6 examples which I mentioned last time, where Jesus is taking some aspect of the OT law, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say the Scribes and Pharisees’ interpretation of the Law, and delving deeper into its application.
I say the S&P’s interpretation because of how Jesus introduces each topic. Rather than say, “It is written” or “God said” and quoting the Old Testament and giving it authority, Jesus says, ‘You have heard that it was said…’
The S&P were evidently trying to restrict the 6th commandment to the deed of murder alone, and if they avoided this, as most people do, then they had kept this commandment. However, Jesus is widening the application of the law to include thoughts and words as well as deeds, anger and insult as well as murder (vs.21-22). Because murder doesn’t happen in a vacuum, there will have been probably many steps leading up to it which involve thoughts and words. The key is to deal with the root, before things get worse, and the ultimate happens.
And of course not all anger in the heart, and insulting words lead to murder, but they can still do an immeasurable amount of harm and leave a trail of destruction behind.
So Jesus’ application to prevent things getting worse is to sort out one’s differences, and to be reconciled, before things escalate. And He gives 2 examples of opportunities to do this, in the lead up to worship (vs.23-24), and on the way to court (vs.25-26) if it has become a civil dispute. The first example reminds us of the link between our worship and love for God, and our relationships with one another, one of the key themes of John’s 1st letter which we looked at a few weeks ago.
In our prayers today, perhaps it would be a good thing to think about our relationships within the body of Christ, and to reflect whether they are in good order, and if not to do something about it.
Daily email Number 352 – from the Vicar
Good morning all,