“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6
What makes a person righteous? What is the right life? What does any of this have to do with who I am as a person and as a Christian?
Jesus takes this up in the second movement of the Sermon on the Mount. Jews of his time agreed about where to look for the answer: the Law of Moses. But the question was how that Law ought to be read. Jesus starts with the Law of Moses, but he’s not going to end there. He’s not going to stop till he gets to the heart of God. If I hand more of my life over to him, what kind of person is Jesus making out of me? One thing is clear acts alone are not enough-something has got to happen that’s something that has got to happen inside and out. Inside and out (refer to my previous article)
The great Rabbi Hillel, an older contemporary of Jesus, once summed up God’s purpose: “Love all creatures and bring them close to Torah.”
(Mishnah, Avot 1:12) The Law of Moses was the center of all Judaism, and the Law of Moses was central for Jesus. That’s why (Matthew 5:17-48) Jesus does what any Jewish teacher in his time or any time eventually must do: he orients himself to Moses. He begins with an affirmation. “Do not think that I have come to abolish Moses’ Law (as some undoubtedly thought). “I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill”
Jesus explains his teaching in relation to Moses’ commands. Rabbis of Jesus’ time debated each other passionately about what the Law of Moses meant. For example, Hillel and Rabbi and Shammai, a divorce should only occur in the event of sexual infidelity. Jesus enters this conversation in (Matthew 5:31-32) on the side of Shammai. Portion of Jesus’ teaching clearly fit within the rabbinic conversations of his day.
Jesus does something new, though, when he introduces his own thought with, “But I say…” Contrast with Moses? The Rabbis didn’t do that. It would have seemed disrespectful and arrogant to them. This intentional contrast is why this section is often called the “Antitheses.” Unlike the Rabbis Jesus asserts his own voice alongside rather than under Moses’. At the end of the sermon, Matthew’s narrator summarizes the public response: ”The crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes”. (Matthew 7:29)
One-way to look at Jesus’ response to the ancient traditions he cites is to assign them to three categories: Internalizing, Clarifying, Correcting.
Use the below for example of agreeing to disagree:
Exodus 20:13 Moses “Don’t murder” Jesus “Don’t nurse anger
Exodus 20:14 Moses “Don’t commit adultery” Jesus don’t lust
Compromising in relationship, agree to Disagree
Refer to the Sequester in March of 2013; it would have been nice just to simply agree to disagree with no blame or rude comments. This is the world we live in I would hope the ones that make a difference would help to make a difference in the way they communicate, brotherly, righteous!!!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (ESV)