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If you missed the introduction to The Sermon on The Mount please tap on this link.
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Let’s begin with Matthew’s opening statement, “When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them, saying…”
Jesus sees the crowds and goes up the mountain; sitting down with His Disciples, he begins to teach them. Said differently, he was addressing His disciples – the instruction was for them only.
He began to explain to them the characteristics of being a disciple of His, expounding the Beatitudes, the Salt and light of and in the world. These are the founding pillars of one who aspires to live a higher life on this earth.
He moves on to explain, he was not in any way suggesting they abandon the Mosaic Law, but rather to fulfill it, through their higher living example.
Jesus unveils the importance of relationships with their fellow humans; the effects and significance of this relationship, especially making right with others before it is too late.
He speaks about the sanctity of their marriage relationship revealing an aspect that few would realize and where the Law was not specific. In addition to this Jesus elaborates on the issue of divorce, when and when not, it is permissible.
Jesus now demonstrates the futility of making vows and states that their yes’s or no’s must mean just that, and nothing else is required.
He expands on the law of loving one’s neighbor, pointing out that loving those that love you is something everyone does, but the one who loves their enemy, this is the quality of a person who aspires to higher living. The person who is a child of God.
The final statement Jesus makes in this chapter is, “Be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The Greek root word for perfect is ‘Teleios’ meaning ‘mature.’ Another view might be when using the English word perfect, that God is perfect and therefore the standard to follow, is not what the world considers perfect, but that which God sets. The choice is yours.
Because the Holy Spirit has been placed within us, unlike the ancients, we no longer follow a God that is outside us, but rather our God that is inside us.
We glean from this chapter in Matthew 5, that Jesus, in preparing His Disciples for their future life on Earth, established a standard by which they (and us) should all live, that others may see God in us.
Until next Sunday then.
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“…time with the Master…”