Definition of Command from Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary:
1. To direct authoritatively 2. To exercise domination influence over – to have at ones immediate disposal – to demand or receive as ones due – to overlook or dominate from strategic postions – to have millitary command of senio officer 3. To order or request ot be given – to exercise direct authority over – to give orders – to be commander – to dominate as if from elevated place. Synonyms: Order, bid, enjoin, direct, instruct, charge, instructor
What did Jesus teach his disciples?
Matthew 5:3-12 Beatitudes poor in spirit – know our weakness or need mourn over sin, evil, hunger for thirst for righteousness, be merciful pure in heart, peacemakers even when persecuted for righteousness sake and persecuted falsely.
v13-14 Salt and Light our lives must be different from the way the rest of the world lives, only by our being different while Christs influence in us be seen by others.
v17-20 Jesus came to fulfull scripture. A messiah would come and save the people from their sin. Jesus is the messiah. He says if someone breaks the commandments and teaches others to do the same, he is called least in the kingdom of heaven. But he will still go to heaven. Those who do the commandments are called great in the kingdom of heaven. To reiterate, no one can get to heaven on their own merit, they must come through Jesus.
v21-26 God made us for relationships. We need other people in our lives to point what is good as well as what needs work. Only in relationships with others can the environment be arranged for our growth. In these relationships we learn to control our self-centeredness by considering the other person. We live to love, to forgive, and to rejoice. God uses relationships to highlight flaws in us he wants us to heal, if we are willing. Remember, we are being conformed into the image of Christ. Our relationship are the golden opportunities for us to learn to be more Christ-Like.
v27-30 Jesus said whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery. Again here we see how thoughts are as important as action. It also shows how easy it is to sin, thereby reminding us on our own we can no be sin-free. Jesus teaches us about sin by sharing two extreme examples – if your right eye catches sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. He says it is better to let one member perish, then the whole body cast into hell. Same for right hand. This extreme picture wells us understand how it is not possible for us to deal with out sin. We can no remove sin on our own. It reveals our dependence on Jesus, our Savior.
v31-32 Only one permissible reason for divorce and that’s adultery. Other than that any one who divorces causes spouse to commit adultery. This again points to how people can not keep God’s laws for our culture has much divorce and adultery occuring.
v33-37 Do not swear by anything, just let your yes mean yes and no mean no. Anything more added is from the evil one. This one reminds me of childhood. When telling a friend a story, the friend says “you swear its true?” Or how about in the teen age or adult years when you were angry or frustrated and swearing came so naturally? We all have forsaken this command at one time or another. What’s done is done and can’t be taken back. There is no magical ‘do over’ button.
v38-42 An eye for an eye has been used over and over as a way to make revenge seem fair. But Jesus taught us something entirely different. If someone slaps your right cheek, turn and let them slap the right. If someone wants to sue for your tunic, let them have your cloak too! If someone compels you to go a mile, go an extra mile. The moral of the story is; “Kill evil with a good.” We overcome evil by doing good. How can the evil person stay evil when their attempts to “rattle your cage” fail? At every evil turn, meet it with unexpected kindness rather than anger and retaliation. This is so different from how we naturally think. It is a picture of high standard, we can not attain on our own.
v43-48 Love your enemies. What an oxymoron! An enemy is somone we want to curse, hate and wish bad things for. But Jesus teaches us to love them instead. We are to bless them and pray for them instead. Again the impossibility of doing this in our own power is evident.
Father God, thank you for sending Jesus to lead the way into your righteousness. By your grace we are saved by faith in Jesus. By the Holy Spirit you gave us we are able to walk in your ways. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.
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