Heart of Holiness

If you’ve ever had a job you’ve probably tried to figure out how to keep on your boss’ good side. You want to learn about what annoys them, then make an effort not to do those things. As a follower of Jesus, I would imagine that I would like to do the same thing. We could’ve easily called this message or even this whole series “Things that annoy God” but as we boil down the different components of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, we start to see a few consistencies emerge from the points.

A few weeks ago we started a series called On The Mountain. In this series we began taking a closer look at one of Jesus’ signature sermons in the Bible. We can learn a lot of things about Jesus based off of this teaching. To fully understand the point of the Sermon on the Mount, we cant forget what we unpacked in part 2 of this series. True righteousness goes deeper than religion realizes. Jesus is making it clear that the boundaries set by the religious leaders were not at all recognized by God our Father. In fact, those boundaries missed the point altogether, they were far from the heart that God has for His people.

Later on in Matthews gospel, Jesus is asked an important question by the Pharisees,

36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37 Jesus replied, “ ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind

Love your neighbor as yourself

Now with this question and answer in mind, let’s jump back into the sermon on the mount. Today were going to examine Matthew 5:21-42. In this passage, Jesus breaks down a few different, but related topics. Anger & Revenge, Adultery & Divorce, and Vows. These may seem like completely different topics but all of these things have to do with the way we relate to those around us. So lets look at these topics through the lens of what Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40, to love your neighbor as yourself.

21 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ 22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

Skip down to verse 38

38 “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.

Let’s hang out here for a second and draw some contrasts between the teachings of the Pharisees and the teachings of Jesus. The Pharisees taught that if you commit murder, you are subject to judgment. Jesus on the other hand is more concerned with the root of the problem.