Who is Jesus?: According to Matthew 5


Jesus taught about the kingdom of God, a kingdom in which the guidelines for social interactions are almost counterintuitive to human nature.  He taught his followers that the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and those who are reviled and persecuted on Christ’s account will receive blessings and honor that answer their need.

He taught his followers to preserve their saltiness and shine forth as the light in the world.

Jesus clearly stated that he did not come to “abolish the law or the prophets,” but rather to fulfill them. Jesus calls the people to live righteously and to respect the law.

Jesus clarified the meaning of the law and the Ten Commandments by explaining how they were to be practiced in the Kingdom of God.  Jesus spoke harshly about sin and recognized the reality of being condemned to hell as a punishment for sin.

Big Idea: Jesus clarified the meaning of the law and laid the groundwork for a righteous social order in which the weak are honored, unrighteousness is condemned, and love wins.


Profound Identity:
  • §   Jesus had disciples (Matthew 5:1). 
  •      Jesus moved and sat like any other human being (Matthew 5:1).
  • §   Jesus lived near a mountain (Matthew 5:1).
  • §   Jesus taught his disciples (Matthew 5:2).
  • §   Jesus called “blessed” those who the world may not recognize as “blessed” (Matthew 5:5-11).
  • §   People will be reviled, persecuted, and slandered on Jesus’ account (Matthew 5:11).
  • §   Those who are persecuted on Jesus’ account will be blessed and rewarded in heaven (Matthew 5:11-12).
  • §   Those who are persecuted on Jesus’ behalf are like prophets for Christ and are treated as such (Matthew 5:12).
  • §   Jesus did not come to “abolish the law or the prophets” (Matthew 5:17).
  • §   Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17).
  • §   Jesus taught about the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3, 10, 19-20).
  • §   Jesus was acquainted with the law, the prophets, and the sayings of ancient times (Matthew 5:21, 27, 31, 33, 38, 43).
  • §   Jesus clarified the heart and meaning of the law (Matthew 5:21-48).
  • §   Jesus promoted reconciliation between people as the fulfillment of the command to not murder (Matthew 5:21-26).
  • §   Jesus taught that one should avoid lust and remain faithful to one’s spouse in order to fulfill the command to not commit adultery (Matthew 5:27-32).
  • §   Jesus spoke of the existence of hell and its use for punishment (Matthew 5:22, 29).
  • §   Jesus taught that it is better for one to give his or her clear word than to take a vow (a.k.a. swear falsely). Integrity mattered to Jesus (Matthew 5:33-37). 
  • §   Jesus taught that we are to submit to the evildoer and to provide for those who ask (Matthew 5:38-42).
  • §   Jesus taught that we, as children of God, are to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,…” (Matthew 5:44).

Prayer:

Condemnation and grace: what a strange combination?  Sometimes God, it is so difficult to know which one of these you want to be more pronounced.  We are to pray for and love our enemies and at the same time we are to cut off the body part that causes us to sin.  You are so clear, yet in our everyday lives when we try to apply your teachings it can seem difficult.  Please help us to understand what you truly meant and be receptive to the guidance you offer us.  Amen.


This blog entry is one of a series of entries in my quest to go chapter-by-chapter through the New Testament answering the question "Who is Jesus?"

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