Summary: Christ calls his followers to be different from the world. We show this difference in our efforts to reconcile relationships.
(based on Southeast Christian Church’s “Living a Life of Integrity”)
SERIES: “WORDS OF WISDOM FOR KINGDOM LIVING”
TEXT: MATTHEW 5:17-26
TITLE: “PURSUE RECONCILIATION”
INTRODUCTION: A. A young insurance salesman had just completed a training seminar in which the
attendees were encouraged to strike up conversations with strangers. They were told
that it was a good way to introduce themselves to new people and thereby gain new
The young salesman stopped off at a fast-food restaurant for some supper and
while standing in line decided to try what he had learned. He started to say something
to the man in front of him in line but didn’t know what to say. Just at that time, he
saw a woman sitting at a table in the restaurant that was startlingly ugly.
He leaned over to the fellow in front of him and said, “Did you see that ugly lady
sitting over there?” The man replied with anger in his voice, “Sir, that is my wife!”
The young salesman panicked but tried to recover. He said, “No sir. Not that lady.
The one beside her!” The man gritted his teeth and said, “That is my daughter!”
1. The message this morning is about pursuing reconciliation.
--We all make mistakes and by that we hurt others. Jesus wants us to be mindful
that we need to be diligent to seek reconciliation in all our relationships.
2. Several weeks ago, we started a verse-by-verse study of Jesus’ Sermon on the
a. Throughout the Sermon on the Mount there is a common theme: Christ wants
His followers to think and act differently from the world.
b. He wants us to understand that there should be a distinctiveness that sets us apart
from everyone else
B. One of these distinctions should be how we view the Scriptures
--The Bible is not just some antiquated book that teaches things that are irrelevant to
everyday life. Instead, it is vital and efficient for our needs.
1. Listen to what Jesus says in Mt. 5:17-18 – “Do not think that I have come to abolish
the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell
you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least
stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is
--The Law and the Prophets is a reference to the whole Old Testament
2. Jesus tells us that He came not to do away with what God has already said and
done in the Old Testament
--Instead, He is the fulfillment of what God has already said and done.
a. Jesus didn’t come to fix things because things had gotten out of control. He
didn’t come to fix things because God’s plan had failed. He came to fulfill things
and to bring everything full circle.
1). He came to bring it to its intended purpose, to bring it to fruition.
2). Seth Wilson from Ozark Christian College explained it this way: “The apple
blossom is fulfilled when it matures into the fruit. When that takes place the
blossom falls off. It is not abolished, it is fulfilled.”
b. Jesus goes on to give a warning in Mt. 5:19 – “Anyone who breaks one of the
least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called
least in the kingdom of heaven.”
--He follows that warning immediately with some advice and encouragement:
“But whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in
the kingdom of heaven.”
3. One of the problems in Jesus’ day was that a group of religious scholars referred to
as the Pharisees and the teachers of the law had corrupted God’s message from the
a. In their own minds, they had not seen God’s Words as sufficient.
--In doing so, they sought to add to, define, and re-define the message God had
given to His people
b. They saw the scriptures as a complicated list of do’s and don’t that needed to be
--In many areas of the Old Testament Law, they tried to extract minute detail;
even if they had to define the detail themselves.
c. It’s referred to as Oral Torah or Oral Law.
--It became a vast system of rules and regulations that were intended to define
and apply the true law of God to every situation in life
4. Because the Pharisees made understanding God’s instructions so difficult, there
were many in Jesus’ day who thought it too difficult so they just went on with life
doing what they thought was best.
a. They let the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law be the experts and looked at
them as examples of righteous and godly behavior.