Matthew 5:25-26

25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

How many times have you said, “Well, that got blown way out of proportion.” If you are anything like me you’ve received gold medals and accolades for all the relationships you’ve destroyed along life’s way. This is not something to be proud of. We all look back on those episodes and recognize how differently it should have gone; “if only” is the melody of our life.

When Jesus speaks He provides a plan of action. Life is messy and relationships are messier. When a matter arises settle it quickly. Jesus gives us common sense in action. How do we do this? We communicate through the conflict. We don’t set up a meeting for later in the week. We address the issue immediately. When our focus is Jesus and when our desire to let Jesus love others through us, we will need His help to bring resolution so we can get back to the loving others part.

The problems start to snowball when we don’t do this. When we over think we create chaos. We open ourselves up to more conflict. The situation is handed over to another party, more issues arise. Jesus ends this by saying, “You are going to pay handsomely for it.” – This won’t be a good pay day for anybody.

Jesus is not throwing up abstracts or pie in the sky thinking. He is addressing messy life and messy relationships. He is saying, “I can help. I am Jesus.” Why don’t we let him do what only he can do? As much as we’d like to help, it’d be better if we let Jesus live His life through us. It takes submission and patience on our part. These are things the Holy Spirit helps with. We are not left high and dry.

As we look at His Sermon we must also talk to Jesus. We can ask for His help. This is a great first step; it might even be the only step. Relax and re-engage. There is time to meet that adversary on the road of life today. Talk it out, pray together, let Jesus love that person through you.

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Matthew 5:21-22

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

We want to hear the truth. We believe that we can handle the truth too. We seek out those things we want to know and we don’t want to me misdirected. We hear things in passing and we read articles with opinions but deep down we want to know what is actually true. No beating around the bush. When we realize that what we have been told or read was in fact wrong we enjoy the fact that we discovered the truth. Jesus was excellent at showing people “the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” Jesus acknowledged what had been heard, in the past, but he already knew it was skewed, flawed, and had missed the mark. It wasn’t what Moses had written down, those very words of God – it was how the religious leaders, over time, had twisted the words. Sound familiar?

It would very easy for us to say, “Well, I’ve never murdered someone.” True, if we stopped right there we’d be free and clear. No condemnation – five gold stars. The problem is Jesus was after the heart. He was after their hearts and he is after our hearts.

Now our hearts are a different matter. How many times have we been angry, irate, uncontrolled towards another? How many times have we spoken words against someone? How often have we been the one who said that awful word to another? Now we recognize, or we should, that our hearts are skewed, flawed, and indifferent. Jesus pronounces judgment on such things.

The good news is this: Jesus came to save, rescue, change, and create a new heart for each one of us. This heart would beat for Him and Him alone. This heart would love Jesus. This heart would love others because this heart loved Jesus. But our hearts, in the flesh, cannot win this battle. Only Jesus can. What is keeping you from submitting your whole heart to Jesus? What is keeping you from allowing the Heart-Changer to live His life through you? Only when he does this will we be truly able to love others and speak true words to others. This is His Sermon in action.

Let Jesus do the work. We must submit to Him. Our hearts, if they have been changed by Jesus, already love Him. Let Jesus, through our changed hearts, love others.

Matthew 4:12-17

Matthew 4:12-17

12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.”

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

I love to see OT prophecies fulfilled in Matthew. It reminds us that God keeps His promises. John has been imprisoned. Jesus begins his ministry. He says Repent and The Kingdom of Heaven is here. Yes! I’m looking forward to what Jesus is doing in the coming pages of God’s Word! Join me on the journey.

Open His Word and Enjoy!