Summary: Just like the Pharisees, so many are concerned with outward appearances but Jesus teaches us that we need to be concerned with matters of the heart and that once the heart is under control, outward appearances as well as our actions will take care of them


A. Examples of Common Misunderstood Intentions

In a world that is so full of evil, one has to be so careful in what he says because one never knows how someone else will interpret what was said.

1. The World of EMAIL

I live in the world of email & love it. I can send a message to one or more persons without worrying or wasting valuable time trying to catch others home.

a. The Worship Service

- Prepare Service and Mail it to Group Name “Worship Team”

- cc “Audio/Video” for week

- Attach songs for band members so they can practice

b. Letter to Church or a Leadership Group

c. Occasionally there is a Problem

- Someone begins to treat me different, or they call, - Why

- They can’t see my face or hear my tone

- They misunderstand my intention in what I said

2. Another Example is Our CONSTITUTION

a. So many take the intent of a law for granted and begin to MIS-USE it


“What is the definition of sex? What is sex?”

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman"

The perfect example for our attitude of truth.


“Your attitude towards truth will determine your ability to tell the truth”.


Scott did an awesome job two weeks ago in explaining the OT Law and its Purpose to expose sin and its requirement.

The Pharisees had been so concerned with Outward Appearance, Outward Actions, and the RULES OF THE LAW that they had missed the REAL INTENT of the Law.

Jesus, using 6 EXAMPLES begins to explain that the problem of sin shows a SYMPTOM OF A BIGGER PROBLEM – A PROBLEM OF THE HEART.

Jesus takes a “You’ve Heard…” and replaces with “But I say…” in order to show that they were missing the INTENT OF THE LAW.


- How do you treat sin and the appearance of sin?

- Is it the problem of the symptom of the problem?


EXAMPLE of ADULTERY (verses 27-30)

Taken from 6th Commandment Exodus 20:14 (NIV) 14 "You shall not commit adultery, the Pharisees’ teaching was concerned with the outward act. (so do we)

1. They correctly quoted the commandment but they missed the point.

2. Adultery begins within one’s heart when one looks lustfully at another

3. The lustful desire in the heart indicates that one is not rightly related to God. And if the Relationship is NOT corrected, a BIGGER problem will occur.

Do your EYES cause you to sin? Do your HANDS… (Vs. 29-30)

- Jesus was not teaching mutilation.

- He was teaching the removal of the inward cause.


Since a lustful heart would ultimately lead to adultery, THEN one’s heart must be changed.

EXAMPLE OF DIVORCE (verses 31-32)

If you or someone in your family have been effected by divorce, raise your hand?


1. The Jewish Custom based on Law

a. READ Dt. 24:1-4

b. Pharisees were promoting the Law.

c. 34- ‘but I tell you’ – What was the INTENT?

See Matt 19.7-9

2. So What about DIVORCE

- Notice words “marital unfaithfulness” used in both passages

- Lit. = “spiritual fornication”

a. Is divorce allowable? No. Look at the setup to Matthew 19

Read Matt 19.4-6

b. Sin is Sin – Whoa – Back to the word “heart”

Jesus, is NOT REALLY talking about DIVORCE BUT RATHER THE HEART – when our relationship with God is not right then our values are not in line with HIS INTENT for a Godly life.

EXAMPLE OF “OATHS” – (vs. 33-37)

The Pharisees were notorious for making an oath. But then, after making certain oaths, they would fail to keep their word and then blame it on not making a vow to the Lord.

Deuteronomy 23:21-23 (NIV)

21 If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the LORD your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin.

22 But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty.

23 Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the LORD your God with your own mouth.

But Jesus pointed out that your word should be your word because EVERYTHING belongs to God. Your YES should means ‘yes’ and your NO should mean “no”.

EXAMPLE OF “Retaliation” (verses 38-42)

But what about “REVENGE!” – When I’M WRONGED!

38 – “tooth for tooth…” “sue for you cloak…”

Exodus 21:24 (NIV)

24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

Leviticus 24:20 (NIV)

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