Matthew 5 Commentary
by Hank Workman
The United States has the Declaration of Independence. The Communist regime operated under Karl Marx’s thoughts of the Communist Manifesto. Here we have Jesus through the Sermon on the Mount declaring the Kingdom of God.
Jesus radically changed views of how we who are in this world should operate. The deep spiritual truths Jesus taught are instructive on how exactly Believers are to live out our lives daily.
What is so interesting is when you read the opening it states the crowds were coming behind and had gathered to hear Him. But it also states the disciples came to Him and he began to teach them. It appears that from at the least the initial words he spoke, it was directly to His disciples. I find this completely fascinating.
The disciples who were the very closest to Jesus were gaining some notoriety. It would be easy for them to feel the pull of popularity, become proud and even possessive of the knowledge they had through such a private audience with their Master. This if anything was a warning to keep their hearts in check from the various temptations they would face simply due to knowing Jesus. His stress was their humility as they lived and preached the Kingdom of God.
On many fronts as the Beatitudes begins, His words contradict the world standards. The translation is fairly easy – when we are following Jesus, the way the world operates will be in complete contradiction to that of following Him. These speak as a code of ethics for His followers. They contrast the eternal Kingdom values over the temporary worldly ones. The take head on a false faith and piety that was seen among the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees with the true faith in action Jesus desires.
There is a richness to each of these statements Jesus makes in the next few chapters. Easily a blog could be written on each. Instead, pray for the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you’re reading for something to jump out that is particularly true for you at this moment. This is Declaration of the Kingdom – and we who are part of that are to live just like a representative.
Matthew 5 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
I love the depth and practicality of Jesus’ message here. Many of his critics thought he was abolishing the law. In his teaching, Jesus was verifying that the law is both temporary and eternal. The law itself creates a moral dilemma that can only be solved by taking a step backward. This is exactly where the heart of Jesus’ message lands. In verses 21-48 he rattles off a series of law-breaking actions but traces those actions back to a specific, deep-rooted issue.
As I said, many of Jesus’ critics thought he was lowering the standard. He was actually raising the bar. What is the real cause of someone who commits adultery? The act of adultery is the result of a long equation filled with lust and selfishness. Jesus was tracing all these issues back to the heart condition. At the time, it was probably incredibly overwhelming to believe, which is why Jesus was hated by the Pharisees and eventually put to death.
The Pharisees could not wrap their minds around this counter-cultural teaching. Jesus proved that the law was not able to heal the root issues of sin. Of course, most of the Pharisees were never going to admit this.
How are we able to overcome sin? It’s not by our own strength. It’s through the power of the Spirit which quenches hate and lust. His love empowers us to unbelievable levels of commitment. He allows us to speak the truth and forgive our enemies. These are principles the world will not uphold or even understand. It only comes through a revelation by the Spirit of God.
Do you pray regularly for the Holy Spirit to fill you? Do you plead with him for conviction? If you are facing an uphill battle with a sin struggle, you will never be able to fix it alone. Get into accountability, get into the Word and pray that the Spirit of God fills you like never before. When we are filled with the Spirit, there is no room for sin’s tempting snare.