Matthew Lesson 10: “In His Service”
Motivation: What does it take to be like Jesus? First one must have the right attitude: Compassion. Next one must display the right action: Sharing. Finally one must have the right alternate: A Priority on the things of Christ above all else.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 02 February 2016 04:48)
Matthew Lesson 9: “Faith Demonstrated”
Motivation: Jesus demonstrates His power over sickness, the sea, spiritual powers, sin and even sorrow for death! What challenges are you facing that require Jesus’ power?
Last Updated (Tuesday, 02 February 2016 04:49)
Matthew Lesson 8: "Two Paths, One Choice"
Motivation: Life is full of choices. In fact, major decisions define our lives. However, only one decision is eternal: what will you do with the truth of Jesus Christ? In a series of vivid word pictures, Jesus poses two paths but only one right choice.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 02 February 2016 04:49)
Matthew Lesson 7: “Carrying His Values”
Motivation: This Sunday is ‘Sanctity of Human Life Sunday’ across our denomination. Our values define us, motivate us and protect us. The challenge for Christians is to make certain that our values align with His For instance, if we value “getting even” and He teaches us to love our enemies, then a conflict arises. This study helps ensure proper alignment of our values with His.
I. Look to the Scriptures (17-20)
A. Definition of the Law “Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” (17) - Jews had four reference points:
1. The Ten Commandments.
2. The Pentateuch - The first five books of the Old Testament.
3. The Torah - The oral interpretation or scribal law later written down in the third century AD as the Mishna, a book when translated to English comprises almost 800 pages.
4. The Old Testament - Usually referenced as the “law and the prophets.”
B. Duration of the Law “For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished.” (18) - Jesus, who was accused of being a law breaker (Matthew 5:17, 12:1-14), declares here that the smallest letter of the law is “set in stone” “until all things are accomplished.” The Scribes saw Israel as “keepers of the Law;” Jesus saw Israel as “keepers of the covenant.” Because it was impossible to keep the old covenant through perfect obedience to the law, Jesus came to establish a new covenant. (Hebrews 8:6-13
C. Deference to the Law “Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches people to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (19) - Jesus’ words seem to be at odds with His actions in Matthew 12, at least to the Scribes and Pharisees. These “teachers of the Law” elevated their own commentary and interpretation to the status of law itself. Jesus accepted the written Law and rejected their interpretation. He clearly taught that obedience to God’s rules rather than man’s rules is necessary. (Romans 9:30-10:40, Matt. 15:3-9)
D. Demands of the Law “For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (20) - When the people heard Jesus say that “unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees”, they must have been amazed. These religious leaders taught that pleasing God amounted to obeying thousands of petty religious rules. The Talmud which later scribes wrote to interpret the Mishna ran to twelve volumes in Jerusalem and sixty volumes in the Babylonian edition! Anyone striving to obtain righteousness by obedience to the Law was (and is) doomed to failure. (Romans 3:21-5:12; Gen. 15:6)
II. Value Human Life
“You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, Do not murder, and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. 22 But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Fool!’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You moron!’ will be subject to hellfire” (21-22) - Exceeding the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees is illustrated with six practical examples that comprise the remainder of chapter five.
A. The Sin (21) - Murder is a violation of the sixth commandment. (Exodus 20:13; Deut. 5:17) HCSB, p.1620: 5:21-22 “Matthew 5:21 begins a section of the Sermon on the Mount generally known as the “Six Antitheses.” The title may seem to imply that Jesus opposed the OT in some way, but in reality He always upheld its authority. Rather than contradicting or overturning OT teachings, Jesus opposed the misguided interpretations of the scribes and Pharisees. These men were concerned only with superficial matters, but Jesus went deeper. He argued that the law prohibits not just actual murder but murderous attitudes as well. Similarly, violent temperaments are condemned just as surely as violent deeds.”
B. The Symptoms (22) - Anger is the root which expresses itself in several fruits:
1. Anger “everyone who is angry” Ephesians 4:26 says “Be angry and do not sin;” there is a difference between anger, the emotion, and the harmful results of anger (i.e. sarcasm, tantrums, verbal and physical abuse).
2. Clamor “whoever says to his brother, ‘Fool!’ ” Barclay writes; “To call a man Raca was to call him a brainless idiot, a silly fool, an empty-headed blunderer. It is the word of one who despises another with an arrogant contempt.” (Matthew, vol. 1, p. 139)
3. Evil-speaking “whoever says, ‘You moron!’ ” This is character assassination. The logical extension of this progression is physical harm, even murder.
III. Value Christ-like Qualities (5:23-42)
A. Reconciliation “be reconciled with your brother” (24) The condition is not that you have something against another, but that “your brother has something against you.” A Believer must not only control anger but also swallow pride. Murder is the ultimate progression of unreconciled anger. Jesus placed reconciliation even before worship, and repentance before faith.
B. Purity (27-30)
1. The Sin (27) - Adultery is a violation of the seventh commandment.
2. The Symptom (28) - Lust is the temptation that leads to adultery. (I John 2:15-17) Paul writes to Timothy, “Flee from youthful passions . . .” (2 Tim. 2:22). We’re not speaking of an innocent glance, but a person who deliberately uses his eyes to stimulate immoral desires. (James 1:14-15) Counselors describe the people most vulnerable to sexual sin:
a. The narcissist - a person with a constant need to be told that he/she is strong, competent and/or attractive. This person takes great pride in his/her appearance and is drawn to people who build them up.
b. The relater - a person who desires close personal relationships and doesn’t make allowances for dealing with the opposite sex. Intimacy with the opposite sex follows a predictable course:
1) conversation, 2) emotion (thinking about the person, desiring to see them), 3) physical (an understanding touch or pat), 4) sexual.
c. The controller - a person who is obsessed with power. Adultery is not so much about sex as it is a demonstration that this person is above scriptural teachings which apply to others.
3. The Solution (29-30) - The principle of radical surgery tells us to eliminate from our lives those things that lead us to sin. Someone defined repentance as “taking steps to avoid the temptation.” (II Cor. 6:16-7:1) True maturity is not seeing how close you can get to sin without failing; it is, in fact, seeing how far you can remove yourself from temptation. The Knox translation of I Th. 5:22 reads “rejecting all that has a look of evil about it.”
C. Loyalty (31-32) - Just as He explained the law of murder and adultery, Jesus affirms the covenant of marriage. God’s ideal is one man and one woman freely and totally committed to one another for life. Unfortunately, sinful people often do not live up to God’s plan.
D. Integrity (33-37) HCSB, pp.1620-21: 5:33-37 “Oaths to the Lord (i.e., “I swear to God”) were considered binding, but since Jews avoided use of God’s personal name and instead used reverent substitutions, clever liars could take an oath that seemed to appeal to God without technically doing so (23:16-22). Jesus taught that swearing oaths is wrong since oaths call for the destruction of an object or person if the oath is broken. Thus, swearing by heaven…earth…Jerusalem, or even one’s own head is inappropriate because it implies that we have the authority to destroy things over which God alone has authority. Swearing against God or His belongings aligns us with the evil one who attempted to assume God’s position as Ruler of the universe.”
E. Generosity (38-42) - The law of retaliation (Lex Talionis) is found in Exodus 21:23-25. Jesus’ words supersede it. (Romans 12:17-21)
1. A Believer Doesn’t Take Offense (39) - Cheek-slapping was more used to insult than to injure. A back-hand (“turn the other to him also”) was considered twice as insulting. A follower of Jesus sees all relationships in eternal rather than personal perspective.
2. A Believer Doesn’t Stand on Rights (40) - A garment taken in pledge had to be returned by nightfall. (Exodus 22:26-27) Jesus says, “Don’t insist on your rights; be generous in love.”
3. A Believer Doesn’t Get by with the Minimum (41) - “Going the second mile” has become metaphor for a lavish attitude.
4. A Believer Doesn’t Hoard Resources (42) - Christians become rivers of blessing rather than reservoirs of stagnation. While we are to be good stewards, God expects compassion and generosity.
IV. Love Beyond Expectations (43-48)
A. Loving Without Limits “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” (43) - The rabbis had corrupted the original law “love your neighbor” (Lev. 19:18) by adding “and hate your enemy.” Jesus commanded us to avoid boundaries on our love. (John 13:34, 15:12-14)
B. Loving the Unlovely “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same?” (44-47) The human reaction is to return love for love. When we say “I don’t love him/her anymore” what we often mean is “I don’t feel love so I’m not obligated to return love.” Never is this more true than in a husband/wife relationship! Jesus commands us to love unconditionally to love even when we don’t feel it. HCSB, 1621: 5:44-45 “Loving enemies and praying for one’s persecutors does not make a person God’s child. Only rebirth does that. However, the sort of forgiving love Jesus mentions displays your family resemblance to the heavenly Father, and thus serves as a sign to your true identity. God blesses both the evil and the good with sun and rain.
C. Loving Completely “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (48) “perfect” means “fully mature”, “complete,” “finished.” Our goal is to love as God loves. (Romans 5:8; Romans 8:29; Col. 2:9-13)
1. Carrying Christ’s Values goes beyond legalism.
2. Carrying Christ’s Values defines our relationships.
3. Carrying Christ’s Values is completed only in love.
Leader Pack item 6 Chart: Jesus’ Discourses in Matthew
Biblical Illustrator p. 76 “Judicial Courts in the First Century”
Notes: **You may access David’s Lesson Preview in MP3 format at: www.hfbcbiblestudy.org; also, the Highpoint Bible Study (Downtown) is available on MP3 at the HFBC site under the Highpoint link/downloads.
Dates: 2016 – 1/10 – SPF Birthday Bash; 1/10 – Lord’s Supper; 1/15-16 – Living Proof SSMT; 1/15-16 – Summit Women’s Retreat; 1/17 – AMP/WIRED Sunday; 1/20 – Midlink Preview; 1/23 – Men:Serve; 1/24 – Fitness EXPO; 1/29 – Midnight Madness; 1/31 – SPF Mentor Celebration. 2/7 – SPF Birthday Bash; 2/15-16 – Next Gen Retreat; 2/21 – MIYCO; 2/27 - Men:Serve; 2/28 – Parent Commitment.
Matthew Lesson 6: “Approaching the King”
Motivation: In the Book of Esther, clear instructions are given concerning what to do and what to avoid when approaching the Persian king. (Esther 4:10-12). Failure to follow strict protocol could result in death! In the continuation of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus also provides instruction for us in approaching God’s throne with confidence. (Hebrews 4:16)
Last Updated (Monday, 04 January 2016 22:53)