Posts Tagged ‘Sermon on the mount’

Matthew 5:43-48 Jesus Teaches Amazing Love

love your enemy too

Love your enemy

Jesus tells us to love our enemies today. I have had a few people in my life I would NOT call my friend, but I don’t know if I would actually call them my enemy. What really is an enemy?

I was talking to Damion, my oldest grandson, about this question. We agreed that an enemy is someone who, when you see them or even think about them, you experience a visceral reaction of anger or hate towards them, and want to tear them apart or wish them dead. I guess by our agreed upon definition, there are a couple of people in my life that elicited that kind of reaction from me, FOR A TIME. This isn’t how I react when I think of them now. Does that mean they are no longer my enemy? I know for a fact that, if given the chance, they would behave towards me in the same manner they previously did that brought me to that point of hate. Would they then become my enemy again? Do they consider me their enemy?

I was just prompted to look at this a different way. I have someone in my life that their behavior makes me so angry that I want to smack them or shake them while yelling, “Don’t you get it! What you are doing is SO wrong!” I think that puts them in the enemy class. I don’t wish them dead but I certainly wish their behavior dead. Read more »

Matthew 5:38-42 Jesus Teaches on Retaliation

question marks

Full of questions today

Jesus addressed how we deal with someone who has wronged us. The illustrations Jesus is using are of innocent people being wronged by “the one who is evil” (verse 39). Not returning evil for evil is NOT the natural way of doing things. It goes against every self-preservation instinct we have. But it is exactly what Jesus calls us to do.

Am I supposed to lie down and be a doormat? Isn’t this victim mentality? What if they want to do more than just smack me in the face? Do I still stand there doing nothing? What if they want everything I own in court? Do I let them have it? Do I give to anyone who “begs” from me or wants to “borrow” what I have? Do I expect the borrower to return the item? What if I have nothing left afterwards? Is Jesus calling us to these kinds of behaviors ONLY with other believers?

I don’t have the answers to these questions, so I decided to do some looking around and asking those who claim they do. Here is a little of what I came up with today. I am going to make sure and provide you with links to the source I found so you can weigh the evidence they present yourselves. Read more »

Matthew 5:33-37 Jesus on the Subject of Oaths

Oath

Taking the Oath

“Spiders, snakes, nor lizard heads; if I tattle tale I’ll die till I’m dead.” This was the oath Toby (the little turtle) had to swear to Skippy and his sisters (the rabbit children) in Disney’s Robbin Hood movie. Even children recognize the importance of a promise or an oath.

I was all set to argue the difference between a promise and an oath with regard to Jesus’ teaching today. I had already written a page and a half of this very concept, but was struggling within myself as to how that fit with what Jesus was saying. Then I received a different picture of what Jesus was saying. I don’t believe Jesus was distinguishing between swearing to something through an oath and making a promise. I believe He was instead, addressing the character and authority of the ones making the oaths or promises.

Jesus started His teaching by stating what had been the norm up until then. In Jewish society, it was common practice to make oaths. Making oaths involved making a promise, then swearing by something of higher value or authority than oneself as proof that the promise would be fulfilled. Read more »

Matthew 5:31-32 Jesus Deals With Divorce

wedding-rings

God intended it for LIFE

The divorce rate in America is so high, it reminds me of Annie, the maid on “It’s a Wonderful Live”, who had been saving up money for years for “a devorce if’n I ever get a husband.” So many people go into marriage with the attitude of it being disposable. Ready to divorce their spouse as the least  provocation. As if expecting the marriage to fail.

I HATE divorce and I HATE that I am one of those divorce statistics! Now that we have established, once again, that I fail to meet His standards, let’s see what Jesus had to say on this subject in His teachings on the mountain that day.

Jesus’ first comment is to reference the Law given through Moses and how it deals with divorce. In the Law the man was allowed to divorce the wife if “she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her” (Deut. 24:1). He is to give her a letter of divorcement and send her on her way. She can marry again but never remarry to the husband who gave her the divorce in the first place. Read more »

Matthew 5:27-30 Jesus Addresses Lust

Lust defense

Lust Defense Mechanism

Have you ever been walking with a man when a very pretty woman comes by? Or even with a woman when a very good looking man walks by? I can almost guarantee that heads turned. Let’s take it up a notch and say the head that turned was attached to your spouse’s body. In today’s culture, I’ll bet the conversation afterwards went something like this:

“What are you doing?!? Why were you looking at him/her?”

“What? I may be married but I’m not dead. I’m allowed to notice a pretty girl/hot guy. I can look, I just can’t touch.”

Noticing and following with your head sounds a lot like what Jesus was talking about when He said not to lust in your heart. Then again, only God knows what’s truly in the heart when the head spins. But Jesus didn’t say you couldn’t “notice” or see the beautiful people around you did He? What turns looking into lusting? Is “lust” only a sexual issue? Read more »