Since all of Jesus actions and teachings show us that he is not interested in mere rule-keeping righteousness, we find that he is working for restoration, and that he places high demands upon those who follow him.
My notes for The Journal Sunday School Class and the podcast
September 29, 2019
Matthew 5:17-20; perhaps with Matthew 9:1-4
My thesis for the study:
In the sermon on the mount, Jesus teaches us how to live in the world. Jesus gives actual instruction and formation. More than rules or law, the SOM is a set of convictions about moral truth.
1. Welcome: Hi Pals, this is Blaine Hill with the Simply Stated Podcast for the Journey Sunday School class at Lake Murray Presbyterian Church in Chapin, SC.
We continue in Jesus sermon on the Mount in the 5th through 7th Chapters of the Gospel according to Matthew. In the last few weeks we read the series of blessings that Jesus announces as the opening of the sermon, for example, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
We also heard Jesus tell us that we are the salt of the earth and light of the world. Keep in mind that Jesus is announcing his Father’s goodness and grace to us, a grace that gives meaning, purpose and shape to our life. God’s work in Jesus blesses us and calls us to new life.
Summary: Since all of Jesus actions and teachings show us that he is not interested in mere rule-keeping righteousness, we find that he is working for restoration, and that he places high demands upon those who follow him.
2. Read the passage
3. Since all of Jesus actions and teachings show us that he is not interested in mere rule-keeping righteousness, we find thathe is working for restoration, and that he places high demands upon those who follow him.
4. What is Jesus relationship to the law and the prophets (Scripture)?
a. Not to abolish
5. Some ways to think about the law…(WCF XXI)
c. Judicial—Civil law
d. Three uses of the law: restrain vice, convict of sin, guide us in holiness.
e. Though the law is not needed to create works for salvation it is still of great use to inform of God’s will, show and convict of sin, show our need for Christ, show the blessings of obedience, show us how to live
6. Least and greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
a. Least in comparison to John the Baptist Mt 11:11-12
b. Who is great? The least Mt 18:1-5
c. Inversion Matthew 19:30, 20:1ff.
d. My inversion theory. America focused on middle, Jesus on first and last.[i]
7. This passage gives us a structure to consider scripture:
a. Person of Jesus. verse 17—consider how amazing that Jesus sets up the question. Scripture is defined in relationship to himself. He is not setting it aside, but is not simply affirming scripture in his teaching. He is the one to bring scripture to its point and end.
Importance of the person of Jesus: Hymn-Just give me Jesus.
For example, the first thing Jesus does after the sermon on the mount is not only to heal a leper, but to do so by touching the leper (8:1-4).
I do choose! His healing is a personal act and decision by Jesus.
According to the law, that act should make Jesus ceremonially unclean, but in fact the exact opposite happens. He makes the leper clean and restores the man in his ability to go into the temple.
To understand the Kingdom of Heaven, to know how to live life well, we start with the person of Jesus, the Son of God.
b. Theology. 18—God has not abandoned his work within creation. In fact it is the person of Jesus where God is completing his work of righteousness, justice and restoration.
c. Ethics-19 Jesus embeds scripture into the life of disciples and Christian community by both action and teaching.
d. Eternity-Jesus attaches our conduct to eternity and sets our goal far beyond ourselves and own power. What can be more absurd than to say that mortals could generate for themselves anything of heaven.
8. Let’s look at the first issue Jesus takes up
e. Person: You heard, but I say 21-22. Given that the next ethical points deal with behavior, as does insulting and cursing, it seems that anger here is action, not just interior emotion.
f. Theology: 23-24 reconciliation over practices of worship. Notice this is not a prohibition against participating, but saying to go directly and be reconciled.
g. Ethics: 24b-25 be reconciled. Seek it out! It this pragmatic wisdom? A larger vision?
h. Eternity 26. Never.
9. Some takeaways
i. Jesus’ disciples are not satisfied with the minimally acceptable amount. Following him means we are oriented to the standards and goals of KoH. As a follower of Jesus, do you need to lift up your expectations?
j. Sometimes we play down the seriousness of our sin. Jesus is willing to forgive us all our sins, but he is not willing to simply dismiss them. On the other hand, we can pretend that someone’s sin against us does not really hurt or harm us. Is there some sin we have done, or even had committed against us, and need to recognize its significance?
k. We cannot live in a proper relationship with God while maintaining a broken relationship in Christian fellowship.
l. How might our life be different—better—if we take seriously the high ambitions and calling that Jesus has for how we conduct ourselves. This impact to the world is set up in the verses that precede (13-16), with call to be salt and light.