But I say to you…notice that Jesus says this several times. He lays out the law and then ups the ante. What’s with that? Is He making pleasing God more difficult or cumbersome? I’ve been pondering this for several days. I don’t think it is about making our lives more difficult, but rather it is pointing out the heart, the spirit of the law that the Jews had not come to understand. They were missing the intent of the law. Here is what I believe,
- That Jesus was making a course correction. If the Israelites continued in the direction they were headed (legalistic adherence to a code of law) they would miss their destiny.
- They were destined to be a light to the world, to be a preservative to the world but by robotically following a code they could not be what they were called to be.
- Their actions (and now ours) need to spring from love and trust rather than duty or adherence out of fear. God wants obedience to be because of love and trust. He wants obedience to be spontaneous, springing up, or spurting out of believers because of His overflowing joy within!
Prophecy says that “the government will be upon HIS shoulders.” I believe the Sermon on the Mount was a type of political platform. I have not flushed it all out, but I think He was laying out what is important within His government. Look what He talks about!! Relationship! Quality relationship. This government that Jesus is bringing will be all about relationship.
Another reason I think this is true is because of how hard the enemy is working to destroy relationships–between husbands and wives, parents and children, pitting one board against another in organizations, citizens against the government within communities, one party against another… The fighting is incessent. Fighting is the antithesis of God. God is love. Love is the key to harmonious relationships–love and trust.
I think Jesus was saying that the law was given to be a hand hold to pull ourselves up with but we have unscrewed it and used it as a club to beat each other down! This Easter season, let’s grab hold and with Holy Spirit’s help to live the spirit of the law.