“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. – Matthew 5:27-30 ESV
This is an important part of the most famous sermon ever given, The Sermon on the Mount. It stretches from Matthew 5- Matthew 7. Todays verse comes from the beginning of the sermon and there a message within this section called the CONTRASTS. This is where Jesus contrasts what people have been told, what they have heard about the law and what God’s true intent is. This could be called the contrast between the SPIRIT of the LAW and the INTENT of the law. Before these 6 contrasts that occur in verses 21-48, Jesus contrasts His purpose (to fulfill) with what is NOT His purpose (to abolish). Jesus also CONTRASTS the RIGHT use of the law (do), with the WRONG use of the law (relax). Jesus also contrasts those who get into the kingdom (more righteous than Scribes) with those who do not (Scribes). After this, Jesus works through our 6 contrasts, 6 EXAMPLES, having to do with the Law. “You have heard that it was said…But I say to you….” This suggests that the 6 contrasts of verses 21-48 are following on the theme of verses 17-20. In other words, they are contrasting those who abolish or relax the commands with those who do them and teach them. Warrior, in which camp do you fall?
Leader, when reading Matthew 5-7, we can rightly see that Jesus was not this milquetoast, weak, soft spoken, “say nothing to offend” preacher that many preach about. We are getting half the Gospel, Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb of God. That partial Gospel is misleading and detrimental to our Spiritual health, if we forget the second half of the Gospel that shows Jesus as the LION FROM THE TRIBE OF JUDAH! He first came as the LAMB, but He will return as the LION! Jesus spoke as ONE WHO KNEW and loved the truth and hated all error. Hebrews 1:8-9a says: But about the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever, and justice is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Also, notice the impression this powerful SERMON ON THE MOUNT, had on the people who originally heard it: When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. (Matt. 7:28-29) We are called to Preach the whole Gospel, and to let the Word of God do what it is intended to do. Hebrews 4:12 is one of several passages in the Bible that explains the power of God’s Word: For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of the soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Isaiah 55:11; so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. that means it will ultimately accomplish whatever He intends it to, see Isaiah 40:8 and Matthew 24:35. God is the FISHER OF MEN, it is God who changes people, it is God who saves people, it is GODS WORD that He uses to do His Work, through His Children.
Conduit, When Jesus refers to the Old Testament, it is the written word. When he mentions what “you have heard that it was said,” he is talking about the oral traditions, what some might call HEARSAY. This is how we get into trouble, we depend on the opinions of men, the traditions of men and the personal feelings of society. Look again, at how many supposed ‘Christians’ are ok with the homosexual and transgender normalization. Look at how many ‘Christians’ say do whatever you want, God loves you. Look at how many ‘Christians’ vote for a party that mocks our God, mocks His laws and makes it acceptable to march in the streets promoting RACISM and POUND-OF-FLESH taking. Look at how many ‘Christians’ believe they are doing God’s will by supporting BLM and Democrats who openly are hostile to the Bible and our JESUS! Look at how many ‘Christians’ are ok with killing millions of babies and calls it CHOICE. This way of working and thinking is what got us into this mess in the first place. Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” (Genesis 3:1-3) Jesus does not set aside the Old Testament law in favor of a new teaching, neither are we to do this. As THE example, Jesus upholds the full standards of the law, as intended by God. He identifies those who obey the law and adhere carefully to the written Word according to its original intention, and He contrasts them with those who relax the commands, who abolish them, to hold to their own accumulated teachings about the law. See the temptation of Christ by Satan and notice Jesus response: “It is written” (Matt 4:4), “Again it is written” (Matt 4:7),“For it is written” (Matt 4:10) Know the Word for yourself, so you can beware of the wiles of the devil! If you are using the traditions of men, and the culture of the world to validate your voting habits, your fleshly desires, and your need to fit into an ever-darkening culture, then you are NOT following the WORD OF GOD. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8) “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The Time is NOW, pick up HIS WORD, and put down the WAYS OF THE WORLD!