Summary: Jesus spoke revolutionary thoughts with his disciples. He became the first person on the earth who spoke on forgivness and practised. Especially forgiving the enemies. This sermon takes you to live a examplery life.
Text: Mathew 5:21-48
Theme: New Life Values
Plato likened the soul of a man to a charioteer whose task was to drive two horses. One is reason another is passion. Life is a conflict between these two. There is an inner tension between the good and the evil, Spiritual and carnal. All are living with this split personality. A desire for hidden things and a desire for purer life.
Mathew ends the sermon on the mount by saying that Jesus taught them with an authority (Mk.1:22, Mt.7:28-29). In fact, the word authority is a legal term. The Greeks used the word “exousia” for authority which meant - “the power to add and the power to take away at will”.
We know that the Law of Moses was unique, authoritative, holy and sacred to the Jews. No one was ventured enough to speak against or alter the teachings of the Law of Moses. God warned that if any one adds or removes or alters will be cut off from his people (Deut.4:2, 12:32, 30:6, Rev.22:18), but Jesus took that authority with him which was vested only with God, while he was teaching his disciples. He cited an earlier proposition of the law of the Moses which were theses and he made an authoritative counterproposition, or antithesis. It could be done by a person who is either Mad or God. Jesus was doing it either with grandeur illusion of madness or spiritual revelation. That’s why in some occasions Jews called him as Mad fellow. However, Mathew boldly records the bold declaration of Jesus was that “all authority has given unto me (Mt.28:18, He taught with authority - Mk.1:27, He judged with authority - Jn.5:27). Sometimes they called him mad.
Jesus spoke six antitheses on the sermon on the mount. He called these teachings as surpassing standards of Life, or New Life Values set for the disciples, believers and followers of Jesus Christ.
Jesus taught a new look on the sins. He taught them that it’s no more an act but a “wish to Commit it or to do itself” is sin. Man will be judged not only by deeds but by his evil desires and wishes. Jesus was concerned about the thoughts.
1. The first antithesis was:
Anger is equivalent to Murder (5:21-26)
Jesus was condemning even a wish to kill somebody. Jesus told them that anger without cause is a sin. Anger was expressed by Greeks with these two words: Thumos – the flame which comes from dried straw. It quickly blazes up and also very quickly dies down like unharmful crackers (G\; thdntbfs; ;). Another one is ‘orge’- it is an inveterate, long lived, nursed with indignation and wrath to be flamed up, broods further and will not die in the mind and thoughts till it completes the evil act.
Calling Raca (Aramaic term) refers to the tone and accent used by the person to contempt. Raca means brainless idiot, a silly fool, an empty-headed blunderer. Calling Moros refers to moral fool. So, such person is worthy to be cast in Gehenna. Gehenna was a place of filth, waste, useless, ever burning and never quenched and useless place equivalent to hell.
It originally refers to the valley of Hinnom south west of Jerusalem, Ahaz introduced the fire worship to Molech by burning his sons as an offering (2 Chr.28:3). King Josiah turned this into a garbage place to burn all the dusts and the scraps to burn day and night (2 Ki. 23:10). There came loathsome kind of worms can’t be killed by fire (Mk.9:44-48).
How often our hearts become hell with all these elements by the heart of anger. Hence, the long-lasting anger is bad. The breach between God and man cannot be healed unless the breach between the man and man was reconciled and bridged. Bitterness breeds bitterness, enmity feeds enmity at the end split is inevitable. Apology leads to building up the relationships. Devotion, praises and offering to God can’t get along with the egoistic anger. Hating man and loving God is impossible. If you can’t love the person whom you see then how is it possible to love God whom we can’t see.
2. The second and third anti-theses are more or less one and the same:
A Lust is equivalent to an Adultery, Divorce leads to Adultery and destroys the institution of family (5:27-32).
Rabbis said: “the eyes and the and the hands are the two brokers of sin”. “Eye and the heart are two handmaids of sin”. Today the world has opened the gates of the lust through all kind’s electronic appliances, they help the eyes to capture ads, pornos, movies, books and the jokes. They are skandalon(traps) for the believers. Looking at woman with deliberate intention of lusting after her make’s eyes cranky, stimulates the desire and awakens the passion. In fact, it is the window adultery Like window shopping. Death penalty was awarded for Adultery during OT times (Lev.20:14).