RAISING THE STANDARDS – PART 1
MATTHEW 5:21-32 – AT THE FEET OF JESUS – THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS IN MATTHEW #3
- In what areas should Christ-followers have higher standards than unbelievers?
- Why are these higher standards important?
- Jesus summed up these higher standards in Matthew 22:37-48
- Why is it easy for us to embrace lower standards, especially for ourselves, and for others?
In the rest of Matthew 5, our Lord Jesus gives us five areas in which we as Christians should have higher standards. We will address the first two of these in verses 21-32.
HIGHER STANDARD FOR ANGER – Vss. 21-26
- 21 – This is a no-brainer! Premeditated murder is wrong! Exodus 20:13, Genesis 9:5-6
- 22 – Here we see that the equivalent of murder is unrighteous anger. This is serious! Proverbs 29:22, 25:28, Ephesians 4:26-32
- 23-24 – Bringing a gift to the altar today would include praying (Psalm 66:8) and participating in the Lord’s Table (1 Corinthians 11:26-32).
- Why is keeping short accounts with people so important? How far should we go to resolve known differences? Romans 12:16-18
- 25-26 – Sometimes people will take things they have against others to the courts. I think Jesus is thinking of the eternal court and judge. We need to resolve things now!
HIGHER STANDARD FOR MARRIAGE – Vss. 27-32
- 27 – Two of the ten commandments address adultery. Exodus 20:14, 17
- 28 – Notice that adultery is committed in the heart before there are any lustful looks or action taken.
- Temptation to sin is not sin when the temptation is resisted. James 4:7, 1 Peter 5:8-9, 1 Corinthians 10:12-14
- 29-30 – How will literally plucking out your right eye or cutting off your right hand not help you resist temptation?
- I believe that Jesus is saying, “Be radical in resisting temptation. Do what it takes!” What are some extreme things we might consider?
- 31 – Deuteronomy 24:1 – There were two schools of thought among the rabbis. One school said that almost anything qualified for a reason for divorce. The other school thought that it referred to “marital impropriety short of adultery”(which was punishable by death.). “…other types of sexual misconduct such as shameful exposure”. R. Kent Hughes
- 32 – According to Jesus, unfaithfulness is the only reason for divorce, and then divorce is not mandatory. Reconciliation is better.
- Jesus gives further instructions in Matthew 19:1-10.
- If a person has divorced and remarried wrongfully there is forgiveness available.
- A person can’t go back (Deuteronomy 24:1-4) but should remain faithful to current spouse.