“You have heard that it was said to those of old… but I say to you…” Matthew 5:21a, 22a
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus never contradicted what the law said, He only contradicted the interpretation of the law men came up with. This is an extremely important distinction as we move forward because as we learned last week, Jesus didn’t come to destroy the law but to fulfill it. He came to shed proper light on it and reveal the depth of it.
What the scribes and Pharisees interpreted to be a set of rules and regulations that simply told them what they could and couldn’t do was in fact much greater than that. The law wasn’t merely given to us to make our lives nice and tidy, it was given to us to reveal how sin has driven us in the complete opposite direction of our Father’s will. What the scribes and Pharisees’ interpretation of the law caused them to do was to make a 90° turn when a 180° turn was needed. As a result of only making a 90° turn, the scribes and Pharisees led themselves and their followers into an unknown territory, where they no longer listened to the Lord or served Him. Instead they were out on their own, serving only themselves.
But we must make no mistake. The temptation to interpret the law the way the scribes and Pharisees did is not limited to them. It is still prevalent today, not only in the wider scope of church doctrine, but also in our own hearts and minds. Because of our fleshly desires, we’re constantly trying to limit the word of God. We want black and white rules. We want clear direction. We want a nice and clean religion. Meanwhile God wants to address the mess of what’s really going on in our heart of hearts. He wants to purify us at the source. This is all He cares about. Everything else is vanity.
Join us Sunday as we open Matthew 5:21-30 where Jesus begins His exposition of the true purpose of the law. In this passage we will discover that what Jesus cares most about is not what we do outwardly, but what exists in our “Heart of Hearts”.
God bless you all and hope to see you there!