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Radical Love (2 of 5)
Series: The Sermon on the Mount
Matthew 5:21-24, 38-48
Open to Matthew chapter five.
So we're taking six weeks to look at the Sermon on the Mount, which is really the first sermon that Jesus ever gave. He was speaking to his disciples, but there was also a big crowd that was listening in.
And last week I tried to warn you about how NOT to read this. Especially if you're a perfectionist! Don't look at this as a list of rules to follow! Don't look at it as a checklist that you have to obey in order for God to like you. Because when you do that, you're focused on the outward behavior…and God is always more interested in your heart.
Have you ever known someone who faithfully goes to church and faithfully serves and faithfully gives…but when you get close to them, you find out that in their heart there's bitterness and anger and hatred? And maybe you've even seen that in your own heart! And Jesus says, ''That's the danger when you focus on outward actions.'' So he's always aiming at a heart level, because when your heart is in the right place with God, your outward actions follow from there. Like Jesus said in Matthew 23, if you clean the inside of the cup, the outside will be clean as well.
Now…because he taught that way, Jesus was accused of not respecting the Bible. You know, the only Bible they had then was the Old Testament-the Jewish Bible. So the accusation was, ''Jesus is teaching people that they don't need to obey the Hebrew law. He's throwing our holy Scriptures right out the window.'' That's what some of the religious leaders were saying! Was that true? Did Jesus just toss out the Old Testament and teach a totally different deal?
Well, before we get into the main passage for today, I want to show you what he said about that in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5, verses 17 and 18: 17 ''Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill th ...
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