RAISING THE STANDARDS – PART 2
MATTHEW 5:33-42 – AT THE FEET OF JESUS – JESUS’ TEACHINGS IN MATTHEW #4
- Name a product you use that seems to have a higher standard for quality.
- When will you insist on a better-quality product and when will you “settle for less”?
- As our Lord, Jesus insists on higher standards for His disciples. Matthew 5:20
In the rest of Matthew 5, our Lord Jesus gives us five areas in which we as Christians should have higher standards. Last week we saw that Jesus has a higher standard for anger and for marriage (Matthew 5:21-32). Here are three more areas where Jesus sets higher standards.
HIGHER STANDARD FOR HONESTY – Vss. 33-37
- Taking the Lord’s name in vain and filthy talk are both are sin. Exodus 20:7, Ephesians 4:29
- 33 – Jesus is talking about oaths or swearing that something is true or that you are going to do something. They were swearing by God or something or someone higher than themselves.
- Solemn promises before God or speaking under oath are not wrong if you keep your promise or tell the truth. Numbers 30:2, 2 Corinthians 1:23, Matthew 26:63-64
- 33-36 – The problem was evasive swearing. They thought if they didn’t swear in God’s name (Leviticus 19:12), they were free to be dishonest. How is Jesus showing that these ways of swearing are wrong?
- 37 – The bottom line is “Tell the truth!” Why do we struggle with this?
HIGHER STANDARD FOR COMPLIANCE – Vss. 38-42
- 38 was an Old Testament judicial law to make punishment fair. Leviticus 24:17-22
- 39-42 – The higher standard is for us to surrender our personal rights and comply with what comes our way.
- Practically speaking, what does complying with each of Jesus’ standards look like?
- Why is the command to give to everyone in verse 42 especially hard to figure out?