Matthew 5:13-26

Matthew 5:13-26

Please note:  Apologies – no podcast.  There was a glitch in recording this Sunday’s message.  


Matthew 5:13-26, December 08, 2019

Salt & Light, Spiritual Law, Murder

Review – What does it mean to be Blessed as in Blessed be throughout the Beatitudes?

 It means to be happy, but not how we might perceive the word happy. 

The relationship between the Beatitudes and grace, how to live as believers, as people who are saved with a changed life.

Quick review  of the Beatitudes and New Testament parallels. 

Focus on the last three Beatitudes

 The last three in action in India and the murder of two pastors in this article by Michael Brown


The story on the two murdered pastors in India is a great, but sad segue to Salt and Light and beyond. Let’s first read verses 13-26. 

What are the basic characteristics of the Christian life? The verses on Salt and Light provide a summary on the basic characteristics of the Christian life. 

5:13 SALT  You are indicates only the genuinely born-again person is salt. Salt adds flavoring, acts as a preservative, gives thirst, melts coldness, and heals wounds – used in farms  for cows and wildlife.

How can we lose our saltiness ?

5:14-16 LIGHT You are the light of the world describes the essential mission of the Christian to the world. The light of Jesus, through us, is to clearly shine forth into the darkness of human depravity. Are you putting your light under a bowl? You are if you are living inconsistently as a Christian with unconfessed sin in your life. 

5:17-20 THE LAW FULFILLED Jesus takes the law from mere outward observance to the inner spiritual intention of God.  He went beyond its mere outward requirements. 

As our Savior, Jesus not only bore our sins, but He has also established a perfect righteousness that is given to us as a gift of God. Our sin was imputed to Him and His righteousness was imputed to us. 

When Jesus spoke of the law, the smallest letter, the least stroke, it was clear He was speaking about the Hebrew language it was written in as it has such a letter, the yod,  while the Greek does not. 

Want to minimize your rewards in Heaven? Look at verse 19 where you (parents this includes you as well as it does pastors and Sunday school teachers) might teach others but do not do what you teach.

In fact Jesus makes a very double-edged statement in verse 20 

So where does our righteousness come from? 

Accepting the gift of grace in faith would then (and does now) provide a righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law.

Paul would nail it in Romans 1:17 when he wrote For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed. But Jesus is revealing His endgame here early on for His followers. And for us.  

Before going to the next six verses, let’s talk about what follows in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. 

He is going to provide a series of examples, of contrasts between the outward demand of the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God.  These examples, contrasts, will show us the gospel in action where the rubber meets the road. We will see Christian piety or devoutness on the walks of life.

Jesus begins the following six examples with You have heard (or It has been said) and then He provides His own answer with a phrase such as But I tell you … .  

5:21-26 YOU SHALL NOT MURDER Jesus begins by quoting the law, Exodus 20:13, then goes beyond the outward demand of the law to the inner state of the believer or as we might say, to the heart of the matter. In doing so Jesus states Anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment

The reference to a court in verse 22 is a reference to the Jewish religious council of the Sanhedrin. 

Raca means worthless or empty as in empty headed. To call someone a fool comes from the Greek moros meaning stupid and is the root word for our English word moron. To call someone a fool in the OT would mean morally deficient effectively thinking them condemned to hell. 

Settle quickly, do not go to court if you can avoid it at all costs or the cost may be more than you realize. 

Reconcile, forgive – avoid the courts. Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.