These verses following are the teachings of Jesus Christ Himself from the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus here explains the correct way to understand the laws of Moses.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgement.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 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.”
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.”
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 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.”
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.“
Jesus, in His teaching set the compliance bar high for His followers, for us. He set the understanding of the Old Covenant Laws of Moses, to a new level, a whole new theology.
Jesus gave us The Theology of Grace. As we life our lives and strive to achieve His expectations for us, He is right beside us willing us on. When we fail to temptation, He is there saying “It is OK brother” or “It is Ok sister – try again!” Yes, try again. When we fail, as fail we surely will – perhaps many times in a day, Jesus asks us to come to Him and repent of our failings, of our sins, and to go out and get on with life again. And one day, when we are tested and we pass, we soar over the bar like a champion athlete; Jesus will be there to celebrate with us: “Well done!”
Like any athlete, the more we practice, the better we shall become and the enemy will back off from us. Life will become easier as a result of this. The enemy is careful of his resources, so when he sees us in a fervent relationship with Jesus and striving to attain maturity in Christ, he will back away, using his resources instead on those who are lukewarm, in doubt, procrastinating and easier to conquer.
Thank You for the theology of Grace which I have through Your only begotten son Jesus Christ. Thank You that when I fail, He will help me to regain my feet and continue on towards You, toward that narrow gate. Thank You Lord that you foreknew me before the foundation of the world was spoken into existence and for the sacrifice of Your son for my sins. Father, as I look at all my family, I recognise that not all of them understand Your Grace and Your sacrifice. Please will Your Holy Spirit hover heavily over them and bring them all to Christ.
In the name of my Saviour, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen and Amen and Amen.