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Beyond the Written Rules

Jun 22, 2014
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King Jesus and the Queen City

This morning Pastor Joseph covered Matthew 5:21-26. This portion of the Sermon on the Mount is the first of six illustrations where Jesus is deconstructing the Pharisees system of righteousness. Jesus begins by stating what is already obvious related to murder, but then He goes a step farther and “goes beyond the written rules”. The Pharisees had a nice system that worked for them, but they had only partially interpreted the Word. The part that was missing was anything that dealt with the matters of the heart.

1. Jesus’ teaching affected their view of themselves – If there is hatred in your heart, then you are as guilty as a murderer. When Jesus clarified this, He in essence stripped the Pharisees of their righteousness. We then see a progression of anger:

A. Anger that is silent and festers

B. Insults that show and speak contempt (hateful speech)

C. Settled hatred in your heart that takes root

2. Jesus’ teaching affected their view of God – Worship was the life of a Pharisee, but Jesus showed them that God is concerned with internal heart issues. Reconciliation comes before worship.

3. Jesus’ teaching affected their view of others – The old legal process of dealing with debt is explained in v. 25-26. Once you are in prison, there is no way to earn money to pay your debt, so you can never pay it back. Settle matters quickly since you do not know if you will have another opportunity.

We cannot be righteous on our own. It drives us to our knees and to the cross. We must come to Him because Jesus died our death so we could have His righteousness!


Questions to discuss as a family today

1. Are you angry with someone? Who? Why?

2. Is someone angry with you? Who? Why?

3. What are you going to do to reconcile that anger? (Be specific)



Praise God for His love for you. Realize that you are no different from a murderer, and thank God for His patience and willingness to help you work through your salvation as you grow to be a disciple. Confess where you have harbored anger towards another, and commit to making that situation right. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you know the right words to say that will bring reconciliation between you and the other person(s).