Summary: The Pharisees had added their own interpretations to the law. Tradition was also becoming law. Jesus teaches the original intended meaning of 7 major laws of the time.

1. Jesus Fulfillment of the Law

v.17-20 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law…but to fulfill…”

- The Pharisees thought that Jesus was trying to abolish the law because He freely disregarded the Pharisaic traditions.

- Although they thought that Jesus was destroying the law, they were robbing the people of God with their traditions and their own interpretations.

- They began to regard tradition as law and Jesus wanted to show the law for what it really is.

- Jesus didn’t come to destroy the law by fighting it; He destroyed the law by fulfilling it.

- Acorn Illustration. I can destroy an acorn by putting it on a rock and crushing it or I can destroy the acorn by planting it and let it fulfill itself by becoming an oak tree.

2. Murder / Anger

v.21-26 “You shall not commit murder…but I say to you that everyone who is angry is guilty…”

- God is concerned with the heart, not just our actions.

- Leave your offering at the alter and be reconciled to your brother.

- God is not interested in our offering when we have anger in our hearts / someone has anger against us.

- We must be peacemakers and try to reconcile our difference before offering God our praise and worship.

3. Adultery / Lust

v.27-30 “You shall not commit adultery, but I tell you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery in their heart.”

- When Jesus says, “looks,” He is not talking about a casual glance at the opposite sex.

- The original language expresses more of a “constant stare with the purpose of lusting.”

- The man Jesus is describing looked at the woman for the purpose of feeding his inner sexual appetite as a substitute for the act.

- I believe that the reason Jesus used the hand and the eye as examples is because these are the most likely the culprits when it comes to sexual sins.

- How do I avoid adultery?

- The best way to avoid adultery is to fight lust.

- Ask yourself -

- What are the triggers for lust?

- What are the unsafe situations and activities in my life?

- Who are the unsafe people in my life?

- We may have to give up “good things” that have become dangerous to us.

4. Divorce

v.31-32 “…except for the reason of unchastity…”

- Proneia = Fornication (unchastity) / Moicheia = Adultery

5. Vows & Oaths / Simple Reliability

v.33-37 “…You shall not make false vows…But I say to you, “Make no oath at all…”

- Our conversations should be so honest, and our character so true, that we would not need an oath to get people to believe us.

- Words depend on Character, and oaths cannot compensate for a poor character.

- The more words someone uses to convince us the more we should be suspicious.

- Jesus’ whole sermon is based on personal life; it does not rule out civil or official oaths.

6. Vengeance / Grace

v.38-42 “…Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also…”

- The picture here is someone who is willing to suffer.

- The key is our attitude. Be the kind of person whose spiritual rights are given to God.

- Ask yourself, “What am I defending; my pride or God’s appointed responsibilities?”

- Revenge and punishment belong to God and His appointed authorities.

7. Hate / Love

v.43-48 “You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you…”

- A neighbor is anyone with a need that you can meet (Luke 10:30-37).

- When we pray for our enemies, we find it easier to love them. It takes the poison out of the attitude.

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