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Redefining Righteousness (1 of 8)
Series: Righteousness Redefined
TEXT: Matthew 5:17-20
This is the first message in the series, "Righteousness Redefined".
This is really an introductory message in the series.
Jesus begins this section with the words, "Do not think", because there were people who were thinking that Jesus was against, or violating, the Law.
You see, after the Law was given to Moses at Mt. Sinai, there were religious leaders throughout the years who tried to make sure that the laws given for the Jews were a little more practical and less obscure.
In other words, when the Lord said to honor the Sabbath, and that no work should be done on that day, the scribes would then try to evaluate exactly what qualified as work.
For instance, to carry a burden on the Sabbath was considered work.
So, what constituted a burden?
• Food equal in weight to a dried fig
• Enough wine for mixing in a goblet
• Milk enough for one to swallow
• Honey enough to put on a wound
• Water enough to moisten an eye-salve
• Paper enough to write a custom-house notice upon
• Ink enough to write two letters of the alphabet
• Reed enough to make a pen.
So they spend countless hours arguing about whether…
• A lamp could or could not be lifted from one place to another on the Sabbath
• A tailor committed a sin if he went out with a needle in his robe
• A woman might wear a brooch or false hair
• It was permissible to go out on the Sabbath with false teeth or an artificial limb
• If a parent might lift a child on the Sabbath
This was "righteousness" to them; which was nothing but legalism of petty rules and regulations.
The scribes were those who worked out all these details and rules and regulations, while the Pharisees were the ones who had separated themselves from all the activities of life to keep these rules and regulations that were NEVER the intention of God who gave the Law.
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