Lessons from Jesus

Think Again

In Matthew chapter 5 from verse 21 through to 48, Jesus touches on six different subjects:

Anger – Lust – Divorce – Oaths – Retaliation – Love Your Enemies

He begins each topic with, “You have heard that it was said…”, followed with a quote from the Torah, and then adds, “But I say to you…” Can you imagine the faces of His listeners? Heads nodding in approval as He recited the laws and commands handed down through the generations and then the shock, puzzlement and questioning look of ‘What did He just say?’

They knew the rules, clear and concise; they knew where the line was and what they could do without crossing it. Jesus had just moved the line. He was telling them not to come to God with their religious piety, thinking they could hurl insults and angry slander without consequence and not to believe that they could let their desires run wild within the imagination as long as they didn’t act upon them.

Everything they thought they knew was being turned on its head. A part of them probably didn’t want to hear any more and yet there was something about His teaching and He spoke with such authority. They had never heard anyone speak like this before.

Sometimes, as we read the Bible, it might feel like rule upon rule bringing more restriction and limitation but in actuality, the teaching of Jesus can bring true, unfettered freedom. So, as you start this new year, forget what you think you know and look afresh at what Jesus is showing you today. He is in the habit of revealing new and wonderful truths if you are willing to open your mind and your heart to His teaching.

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