Friday, January 13, 2012

Matthew 5

The Sermon on the Mount

Jesus sees some big crowds so he starts preaching.

The Beatitudes

Blessed are lots of people.
Blessed are those who are persecuted.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is in heaven.

Don't think I like the message "be happy to deal with bad stuff now, heaven will be awesome"

Salt and Light

You are the salt of the earth. If salt has lost it's taste it is no good, throw it out.


Let your light shine like a lamp. don't hide it, let other's see your good works and give glory to God.

Alright, I like this. Do good, show others. You can lead by example. Good stuff.

Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

I do not come to abolish the law but to fulfill them. Don't even bend the rules of  the least of the commandments.

Wow, so in pretty clear terms he says that you must continue to follow the old testament, every bit of it. So what is the deal with people saying "that's old testament" to some verses?

Also, I'm not sure what it means to "fulfill" the law. Is he just saying he fulfilled the prophecies from the old testament? He seems to be saying more than "I'm following the law, and you should too", but I don't know what it means exactly


You have heard that murderers are liable to judgement, I say everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement.

Wow, did Jesus just equate murder and anger? Can I assume he is speaking with hyperbole here?

"Whoever says 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire

Same question. If we are to take this literally it's just crazy. Is he seriously saying that by being angry and getting in an argument with someone you deserve hell?

If you are offering your gift at an alter and you remember that you are and brother have a problem, deal with your brother first, then come back and give your offering

Ok, this seems pretty good. Make sure you are on good terms with your brother first. If I wanted to interpret this broadly I might say the message should be family should have high priority, or I might interpret brother broadly and say community is important. Either way the message here seems good to me.

Come to terms quickly with your accuser before going to court, otherwise you could go to prison.

Seems good too I suppose. Dealing with each other directly rather than using the courts when possible always seems like a good idea to me. This is a guess, but I think the people he is talking to might be in a hostile court system and they don't think they can get a fair trial (think Muslim's in America's court system today)


"I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart"

My first thought on this is that it is awful. Simply having lust should be ok, until you act it shouldn't matter.
Then I was thinking about the meaning of the word intent. Perhaps this isn't saying simply having lustful thoughts, but that you actually decide to do something about it. Even if you wind up not going through with it in the end. Even this I disagree with though, shouldn't the thing that matters be that he didn't do it?
One last thought here, what about dating in general. doesn't all dating have lustful intent behind it? Even if you save yourself for marriage, I'm sure there is 'lustful intent' throughout the entire dating process.

If your eye or hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.

Well at least this proves he speaks with hyperbole. It makes me wonder if there are other things he says that are supposed to be hyperbole that are not taken that way due to 2000 years of culture change.


Don't get divorced, if you do you are committing adultery

Jesus doesn't like divorce. got it.


Don't take any oaths, even for heaven

I don't understand this section. It sounds like he is referring to some specific oath or something, I dunno.


Forget about eye for an eye, instead turn the other cheek. Give to beggars and let people borrow your stuff.

Seems good as a general philosophy, although if you follow it too much you are asking to be taken advantage of.

Love your Enemies

Everyone can love those who love them. You should love your enemies too.

Sounds great to me. Makes you wonder how holy wars can happen.

1 comment:

  1. Salt/Light. Does it ever lose its flavor? I like the idea of doing good works and leading by example, but does this also refer to prayer? If that is the case, in the next chapter it says you should pray in private.
    Law. I think its pretty clear that the law means "the law." I've heard someone try to explain the old testament laws away by saying "he means the new testament." This is absurd, as he was Jewish and at the time the old Testament was the only testament.
    Anger. In Mark 3:5 he gets angry. He also gets pissed off in the temple when stuff is being sold in chapter 23 and calls the people fools. It's also kind of unrealistic to NEVER be angry.
    Divorce. The old testament said men could divorce women but not vice versa. If Jesus intended to overwrite old laws, like slavery, he should have been as clear as he was here.
    Enemies. LoL! That's a great point about holy wars.
    Possibly someone will come along and give a better explanation to our questions I hope.


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