Summary: Jesus gives the spiritual meaning of the law.
The Sayings of Jesus Part 5
Jesus has just told His audience that He had not come to destroy the law or the prophets but to fulfill. He warns of the consequences of breaking the commandments and teaching others to do so. He also mentions how God feels about those who obey and teaches the commandments.
Point: I’m so thankful that we are under grace, but because that is so we should not neglect to preach on the emphasis of the law.
Matt. 5:20 You could probably hear the mumbling in the crowd when Jesus speaks these words because it was the scribes and Pharisees that adhered to the strict obedience of the law in their self righteousness.
Jesus in fact said that these guys are not going to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
What Jesus says next I believe shows the difference between self righteousness and the true righteousness of God.
Key Phrase Used: “Ye have heard that it was (or hath been) said” 6 times used “But I say unto you”
With this Jesus takes the time to expound upon the spiritual implications of the law.
1. Spiritual Murder
See: Matt. 5:21-22 Jesus begins with the 6th commandment “Thou shalt not kill”
We know that murder is wrong, but the anger that precedes murder is also wrong our Lord tells us.
Point: Jesus is not saying that anger leads to murder, but anger is murder!
See: Eph. 4:26 Here is a holy anger that is against the sin
Raca = Empty headed
“Shall be in danger of the council” The council is the Sanhedrin, Jewish court of 70 members
“But whosoever will say, thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”
Hell = Gehenna which means the valley of Hinnom that suggest eternal punishment.
See: 2 Chronicles 33:4-6 Manasseh sacrificed children to other gods in this valley
See: Vs.23-24 We are compelled to go and reconcile with a brother or sister before approaching the altar with a gift.
See: Vs.25-26 Agree with thy adversary quickly whiles thou art in the way with him…
In the Jewish court system he who guilty is cast into prison until they have reconciled the debt.
See: Matt. 18:21-35 (Vs.34 deliver him to the tormentors till he should pay all that was due).
Point: I believe Jesus mention this first because it is a serious problem among even so call Church people who do not reconcile with their brother or sister in Christ.
2. Spiritual Adultery and Divorce
See: Matt. 5:27-30 Thou shalt not commit adultery...looking and lusting
Self righteousness says as long as I do not commit the physical act I haven’t done anything wrong, but spiritual righteousness doesn’t just focus on the outward act but also the inward.
“Committed adultery with her already in his heart”
See: Job 31:1, 9-12 Job speaks concerning his covenant made with his eyes
See: Vs.29-30 Jesus speaks about plucking out an eye or cutting off a hand (two culprits that leads to sexual sin).
Point: Jesus is not suggesting literally doing these things, but taking some drastic spiritual measures to remove of the inward cause.
“For it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell”
It is important for us to understand that the Christian life demands walking in the Spirit and not after the flesh which is capable of obeying the physical aspects of God law, but sees no violation to the spiritual aspects.