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.

Matthew 5:23-24

23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

If you’ve ever left something at home and realized it as you drove away you remember having that “ummmm” moment. How we react speaks volumes. What we choose to do speaks volumes too. If it’s important we immediately turn around and go back home and get that thing we forgot. If it is not that important we debate in our mind whether going back is actually worth it. Our inner dialogue begins. We wait to see who or what wins out.

Jesus is after the heart. He is after our hearts. How we view others, react to others, and love others is vitally important. Jesus says that love sums up the Law and the Prophets. Translated, this is a big deal.

All of us attend church with other things on our minds. Often times it revolves around food or our tasks once we arrive. How often do we stop to do a heart check; to ask God if we have left any relationship, any conversation, which is in need of repair, unresolved? Remember, Jesus is after the heart. Our passage seems to say that the gift is important but the reconciled relationship takes precedent.

Now in our world of go, go, go we can’t fathom turning the car around on our way to church to heal a broken relationship. What we can do instead is work diligently to keep our relationships dedicated to and surrounded with Jesus. Don’t leave the scene of the crime, the accident, without repair. Don’t go be religious and forget the great commands of Jesus.

As we let Jesus live through us He will help us with this. As we keep our relationships whetted in Christ we won’t need to fret about such things. The more WE do to keep our relationships afloat the less we allow Jesus to engage, rearrange, heal, and bless those that we love and those we love to be with.

His Sermon is less about what we do and more about what He can and will do. Will you let Him? Will you let Jesus live His Life through you?

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 5:17

Matthew 5:17

“Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

Jesus did not come to destroy the Law and the Prophets. Jesus loved the Old Testament! He loved the Law! He loved the Prophets! Jesus came to fulfill them.

Think about it, he came to full-fill it … that is, he came to fill it up fully. Jesus’ words on the mount were to bring fuller meaning to the Law. Let us never neglect the OT. It always has and always will point us to Jesus Christ, our Great Redeemer, Our Sovereign LORD.

Open His Word and Enjoy.

Matthew 5:5

Matthew 5:5

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Join me in this prayer today …

Sovereign LORD,

May you be exalted above all things today. May you be exalted in this life you gave me, today.

I submit to your will.

I choose to follow your directions and comply with how you designed me: to bring glory to your name.

I humble myself and tremble before Your Word (Isaiah 66:2).

I appreciate Your rod of correction because you discipline the one You Love (Heb 12:6).

You have been so gracious to me, your grace and mercy abound and overflow, I am thankful.

I trust you today, I desire to trust you everyday.

O how I wait expectantly for that Great Land where I will delight in Your Perfect Peace forever and ever (Ps 37:11).

Amen and Amen.