The Sermon On the Mount
Matthew, Chapter 5
Matthew 5:20-26) For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
(CEV) You must obey God’s commands better than the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law obey them. If you don’t, I promise you that you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
(GNB) I tell you, then, that you will be able to enter the Kingdom of heaven only if you are more faithful than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees in doing what God requires.
(MSG) Unless you do far better than the Pharisees in the matters of right living, you won’t know the first thing about entering the kingdom.
Concerning this verse,
“(who were content with religious ceremonies which gave them an outward, ritual cleansing, but which never changed their hearts). Jesus uses hyperbole (exaggeration) to drive home the truth that external righteousness without internal reality will not gain entrance into the kingdom. The only righteousness that God will accept is the perfection that He imputes to those who accept His Son as Savior (2Co_5:21)” [BBC].
21) Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
(GW) But I can guarantee that whoever is angry with another believer will answer for it in court. Whoever calls another believer an insulting name will answer for it in the highest court. Whoever calls another believer a fool will answer for it in hellfire.
(MSG) I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.
1John 3:15) Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
QUESTION: What’s this? Is Jesus making the Law even more difficult?
ANSWER: Yes! He’s pointing out the intent of the Law. The Law, in its intent, demands perfection. If someone was close, but not absolutely perfect, the Law condemned him. Sorry! Close, but no cigar!
23) Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24) Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
NOTE: The context of this passage, as we will shortly show you, is talking about someone being upset with you because of your conduct toward them, not merely because that individual is hypersensitive. In other words, you did something to offend them.
Regarding this thought,
“If a person offends another, whether by anger or any other cause, there is no use in his bringing a gift to God. The Lord will not be pleased with it. The offender should first go and make the wrong right. Only then will the gift be acceptable. Even though these words are written in a Jewish context, that does not mean there is no application today. Paul interprets this concept in relation to the Lord’s Supper (see 1 Cor. 11). God receives no worship from a believer who is not on speaking terms with another” [BBC].
25) Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
(CEV) Before you are dragged into court, make friends with the person who has accused you of doing wrong. If you don’t, you will be handed over to the judge and then to the officer who will put you in jail.
(MSG) “Or say you’re out on the street and an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him. After all, if you leave the first move to him, knowing his track record, you’re likely to end up in court, maybe even jail.
26) Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
(CEV) I promise you that you will not get out until you have paid the last cent you owe.
(MSG) If that happens, you won’t get out without a stiff fine.
NOTE: Notice that the offence is such that if you end up in court you will be found guilty, and you will go to jail, and you will be fined.
ANOTHER NOTE: I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t be concerned with those who easily are offended, even when no wrong has been done.
We desire close fellowship with the Lord. He desires that we cultivate close fellowship with others. How do I do something nice to God? By doing something nice to someone down here on earth.
Matthew 25:40 & 45) “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
45) “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ [NIV]
Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church