Trouble with the Curve


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Sermon on the Mound                         Matthew 5:17-44

Trouble with the Curve

Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

17 ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Anger
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
Lust
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Divorce

31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Retaliation

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Love Your Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
 
Pastor Jeff’s Message
Jesus changes the rules, “You’ve heard it said…but I say…”  These are very challenging words and difficult teaching.  Jesus is holding his disciples (us) to a higher standard than what the law requires.  Are we willing to let ourselves be held to this higher standard or are these merely some archaic words that are out of date and out of touch with contemporary culture?
 
There is a cost of discipleship.  Part of our calling to discipleship is that we will have to live more truthfully and less comfortably within contemporary culture.
Jesus is described by John, as one full of grace and truth.  This is the tension we live in.  We extend grace and yet we must live by the truth of the gospel.

 

Life Point: Jesus calls us beyond outward obedience to heart obedience.

Reflect on: 1)  Are you more of a “you’ve heard it said” or a “but I say to you” type of disciple? 2)  How will you transform your discipleship from obedience to God, to being inlove with God?
 

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