Read Matthew 5:43-48
Continuing with our study of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus once again says some tricky things. Love your enemy? How is that even possible? How are we supposed to love those who murder innocent children? How are we supposed to love those who persecute us for our faith? How could Jesus ask that, and how do we reasonably implement it? Fortunately, by digging into Scripture, we find our answers. More importantly, we discover that the NIV leaves out crucial verses that would have made what Jesus said about loving our enemies so much easier to understand.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person.
Have you ever noticed in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount how he gently prepares his audience to accept something new? He lets them know who is blessed and why (Matthew 5:2-12). He then points out that if they follow Him, their behaviour will have to be different from those around them (Matthew 5:13-16). He enforces this by letting His listeners know that He is the fulfillment of the Law (Matthew 5:17-20). He then begins almost every topic with a variation of this set of words: "You have heard that it was said...but I tell you," referring to the laws of the Old Testament (Torah). In fact, for the rest of Matthew five, that is how he begins each topic. He did this to contrast the Pharisaical interpretation of the Law with His fulfillment of its intent. Jesus gets to the law's intent and, in the process, shows us what grace is all about.
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Continuing with our Bible Study of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, today, we take a closer look at oath-taking and its implications for Christians. Are we, for example, forbidden from swearing on a Bible in court?
In Exodus 20:7, we find this verse: You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
So what does it mean to take the Lord’s name in vain? And what does that have to do with swearing an oath?
Read Matthew 5:27-32
Continuing with Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, today, we look at what Jesus had to say about adultery and some of the strange things he said regarding that topic.
When you look up the word "adultery" in Strong's Concordance, you get the standard definition: "to have unlawful intercourse with another's wife." But you also get this definition, "A Hebrew idiom, the word is used of those who at a woman's solicitation are drawn away to idolatry, i.e. to the eating of things sacrificed to idols."
In other words, you aren't just cheating on your spouse. You are cheating on God as well.
Read Matthew 5:21-26
I read a blog where the author was puzzled about some things that Jesus said. I tried to leave a comment, but I couldn't because I no longer have a WordPress account. But I wanted to tell her she was puzzled due to the Bible translation she was using. A whole verse had been left out of her translation which was why she was confused. If things don't make sense or don't add up, that's when I check to see what's missing.