January 25, 2011
Scripture: Matthew 5:21-30
Jesus calls disciples “blessed” when they are “poor in spirit,” but he refuses to leave them in that state. The moment we receive salvation, Jesus starts to pull us out of our poverty towards his heart.
Having called the disciples to a righteousness that surpasses the Pharisees (Matthew 5:20), Jesus goes on to explain how they should go about living this life in a 27 verse long debate with the teachings of these men. In each of the sections, he quotes them (“You have heard that it was said . . .”) and follows with his thoughts (“but I say . . .”). In each, he turns their attention to what really matters: their hearts.
In Matthew 5:21-30, Jesus breaks the sins of murder and adultery down into their most fundamental state: emotions. He states that our thoughts, not just our actions, matter and they are subject to judgment too. One cannot say, “Yes, I hated him, but at least I never murdered him,” or, “Yes, I desired her in an ungodly way, but at least I never committed adultery with her.”
Jesus is not being literal with his suggestions for how to deal with sinful desires, (i.e., leaving our worship service to be reconnected with our brother whom we have slighted, and gouging out our eye/cutting of our hand if they cause you to sin). Rather, he is prescribing drastic actions be taken on our part to dig these seeds up before they are allowed to grow.
What drastic actions do you need to take to uproot the seeds of sin in your life?