Skip to main content

Matthew 5:13-6:24 #eebc2018

Here we are in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is teaching His disciples, a message which opened with the Beatitudes and now goes on to talk about the disciples and their relationship with the world. The Sermon on the Mount deals with that subject at length, as well as the matter of the disciples' relationship with God.

It is these two areas that we often think are in conflict, but Jesus makes clear that they are not. In fact, your relationship with God is interdependent with your relationship with the people around you. That is not to say that people should be your boss--only God is your God, not anyone else. But if the Beatitudes of Matthew 5:3-12 started you thinking that your relationship with God would be better if you just ducked away and never interacted, that thought should be cut off by the next two paragraphs. We are to be salt and light, clear to the world and affecting the world around us.

After all, salt doesn't do much if it is not with other items. And a light that cannot be seen is just wasting itself. The next several sections build on this idea. First, Jesus highlights that He is the fulfillment of the Law, not someone who will cancel it. The Law was based in the holiness of God, and that holiness will never change. How we live still matters, because otherwise we are destroying others. The Law, though, was not enough because adultery and murder are outside actions but righteousness requires that we stop at the inner thoughts which spark those actions.

And note that Jesus brings forward conflict with your fellow worshippers as a danger in the same realm as murder. Here is where we find that fixing a relationship is as important as bringing a sacrifice to the altar. Then we see that adultery begins as lust, and lust is worth removing body parts to fix. Now, should be actually go cutting off hands and gouging out eyes?

No. Why do we not take this literally? Because we read the text in context, understanding what is being said. Jesus points out that adultery begins as a heart problem. You cannot cut off your hand to fix your heart. He is driving to the real problem: your hearts are not just restless until we find God. Our hearts are dead without the Spirit of God. And we'll be far better off to let Him take that old heart straight out.

Going through the rest of the passage, we have instructions about fasting, giving, and prayer. There is a continued emphasis that our hearts must be right before God and our lives must be lived to draw others to Him.

There are whole books written on just portions of the Sermon on the Mount, so we cannot possibly cover it all here. Take up and read, and let God change you through His word. What should come through this is that our lives will not be the same with Jesus as they would have been without Him. If we are not different in our living, if our lives cannot be easily seen as lives committed to Christ, then we should reconsider and reread.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Book: The Gospel Call and True Conversion

A quick note: This book, The Gospel Call and True Conversion, is currently available on Kindle for $4.99. This is the second in a series of 3, and the first, The Gospel’s Power and Message, is available for $2.99.The Gospel Call and True Conversion. The title of this book alone sounds intimidating, and adding that it’s written by one of the heavyweights of American Reformed Christianity, Paul Washer, does not lessen the intimidation factor. Washer is known to be a straightforward preacher—for good or for ill.What did I find in The Gospel call and True Conversion? I found some things to like:1. Paul Washer is passionate for the truth. He wants to know the truth. He wants to proclaim the truth. He wants the truth heard. He wants you to know the truth. This is good. It is good to see someone not try to base theology on popularity or as a response to modern events, but to base it clearly on truth. 2. There is a strong emphasis on the reality that true conversion (from the title) will resu…

Sermon Recap for July 29 (and 22)

Good Morning!Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!July 29 AM: (Audio)
July 29 PM: (Audio)
July 22 AM: (Audio)July 22 PM: (Audio)