Matthew portrays Jesus as the Greater Moses, the True Lawgiver who brings the “Law and the Prophets” to their intended fulfillment.
In Matthew’s gospel, the life of Jesus echoes events from the history of Israel. The point is not that Christ reenacted what Yahweh did in Moses and for Israel, but that he brought what God had begun in the distant past to fruition. He is the Greater Lawgiver foreshadowed in the story of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt under Moses.
Continue reading THE GREATER LAWGIVER
At the conclusion of his sermon delivered on the mount, Jesus vested his words with ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY – Matthew 7:21-28.
The Sermon on the Mount is not a program for reforming civil society, implementing economic justice, or a utopian pipe dream for the perfect society. Instead, it provides clear instructions for how his disciples must live in the present age as faithful citizens of HIS kingdom. For his followers, his teachings are not optional, and at the sermon’s conclusion, Jesus vested his words with ultimate authority.
Continue reading PRUDENT OR FOOLISH?
When Christians react in kind to hostility, whether from government, society, or individuals, Satan triumphs – Matthew 5:12.
The reality of persecution in the Christian life raises numerous questions. For example, how should we react to our persecutors, especially when we are persecuted by governing authorities? Should we respond with indignation, civil disobedience, and public protests? Or should the disciples of Jesus follow his example and that of the early church?
Continue reading CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO PERSECUTION
In Jesus, “all the promises of God are Yea and Amen,” and the “Law and Prophets” find their fulfillment – Matthew 5:17-21.
Fulfillment and Kingdom are prominent themes in Matthew’s gospel. With the arrival of the Messiah, the season of fulfillment began, and all things anticipated in the “Law and Prophets” were coming to fruition. But what were the implications for the Mosaic Law? Fortunately, Jesus provided us with a direct answer to that question.
Continue reading FULFILLMENT – LAW AND PROPHETS
Mercy and love are the defining characteristics of his disciple and reflect the true nature of his Father – Matthew 5:43-48.
Christians can be confused, even overwhelmed, by the exhortation found in the middle of Christ’s ‘Sermon on the Mount’ – “Therefore be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” We assume that “perfection” means conforming to a standard of righteousness that is impossible for any human. How can anyone ever hope to emulate the perfect righteousness of God?
Continue reading LOVE YOUR ENEMY