Matthew 5:21-37 Children can follow along in Spark page 272.
This section of the sermon on the mount is a list of "You have heard it said _____, but I say to you ____." Jesus is making it clear that the standards of Jewish (religious) law are simply not enough. He teaches about murder, marriage and swearing (an oath). Instead of keeping the old standards, Jesus digs a bit deeper to their root causes. Murder is obviously unacceptable, but what about all the disagreements that lead up to a murder? Divorce is not desired, but what about the changes in desire that lead to divorce? Swearing oaths is supposed to solidify our word, but why not simply be honest, trustworthy and reliable all the time with or words and promises? This reminds me of the law today in our lives.
Immigration standards are one thing, but what about loving everyone, no matter what? You have heard it said that you should be a good citizen, but I say that the only citizenship that matters is being a citizen of God's kingdom/nation. So treat everyone as a citizen of God's land.
Taxes and financial law matter, but what about making sure everyone has enough? You have heard it said that you should make as much money as you can legally, but I say to make sure everyone has enough to live by.
The examples could keep on going. What in your life have you made a higher standard that represents your core values? It is an ancient Christian and Anabaptist spiritual practice to make Jesus our standard and God our judge and love our deepest value. May love guide you more than the law. May compassion guide you more than the constitution. May Christ mediate your community, and not the courts.
Events & Evites:
Tory - Pastor of Children and Youth Faith Formation.