Kiffblog

June 22, 2012

The next level

Filed under: Uncategorized — andykiff @ 7:47 am

Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

Matthew 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 5:32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 5:34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,

Matthew 5:39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

The law was extremely demanding, so tough that no-one could keep up with all its requirements.  Jesus’ audience were probably hoping that he’d come along and say, “Don’t worry about the law, you can relax now”.  He did quite the opposite and took the law to a whole new level.  He stepped through a list of commands and showed how even the law stopped short of Your true holiness.  The law, tough as it was, represented a slightly more achievable standard than the level set out in these verses.

So was Jesus just adding even more rules to the existing list?  I think both yes and no.  He was demonstrating that the law didn’t go far enough to save us, that it would need to be extended to extremes of righteousness.  Extremes that I know I could never reach.  He was setting the stage for his sacrifice.  Only by his death and resurrection could I ever be seen as good enough.

He didn’t lower the bar.  He came to lift us over it.

Thank You Lord that You are my righteousness.  I know, no matter how hard I try, that I could never be good enough.  Thank You that, through Jesus, You see me as good enough.

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