The cold still lurks 🙁 – another set of passages and quotes demanding a more concise review awaits … (Normal service will be resumed shortly?)
The Story So Far
- Chapter 1
- The genealogy
- The birth of Jesus
- Chapter 2
- The visit of the wise men
- The escape to Egypt
- The massacre of the infants
- The return from Egypt
- Chapter 3
- John the Baptist
- People are being baptised by John in the river
- But not all are welcomed by John
- John: One who is coming is greater than he
- Jesus baptism …
- Chapter 4
- Jesus is tested by the devil in the wilderness
- Jesus begins his ministry in Galilee
- Jesus calls the first disciples
- Jesus ministers to a crowd (and his fame spreads)
- ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit,
- for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- ‘Blessed are those who mourn,
- for they will be comforted.
- ‘Blessed are the meek,
- for they will inherit the earth.
- ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
- for they will be filled.
- ‘Blessed are the merciful,
- for they will receive mercy.
- ‘Blessed are the pure in heart,
- for they will see God.
- ‘Blessed are the peacemakers,
- for they will be called children of God.
- ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
- for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- ‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Salt and Light
- (13) You may have once been made the best thing in the world – but what is the point if you don’t fulfill your/that function any more: You throw out what is broken
- (14-16) In a similar way don’t hide what does work. (Like – to paraphrase badly – switching on a torch then hiding it in a shoebox under the bed)
The Law and the Prophets
- Jesus did not come so we could ignore (what is now known as) the Old Testament. Instead he came complete it.
- Therefore (according to these passages (17-20) everything must be accomplished and no one led astray to enter the kingdom of heaven
- Note: Just because it says something here we should be careful about making it a hard and fast rule for the whole of the Bible – we will probably have to come back and look at it again later, to see it properly in context
- Sort out your quarrels before coming to God …
- Adultery is not just for the married!
- We need to look at how we view everyone…
- It is better to lose a body part than let it be a cause of sin! …
- Divorce (never an ideal situation) seems to be made worse in these passages
- Again, another passage we will probably have to return too for greater context when we have more information surrounding it
- In the past people have made false promises
- But Jesus says: Don’t promise at all – simply let people know your ‘yes’ means ‘yes’ ….
- Similar to v27-30 – in that it relates to body parts and dismemberment!?
- But perhaps in reverse?
- You shouldn’t dish out the same treatment others give to you to them (an eye for an eye)
- Instead you should turn the other cheek
- Or give them your cloak and walk an extra mile
- Following Jesus seems to involve doing more than you ‘need’ to for others
Love for Enemies
‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.Matthew 5:43-48; NRSVA
The preparation for tomorrow is Matthew 6 and hopefully by then I’ll have finally shaken off this cold as there now seems to be quite a few unanswered questions that I/we need to go back and resolve before moving too far foward.