Promises, Promises … (Matt. 5:33-37)

The first two antitheses(murder and adultery) are based on the Decalogue. The antithesis regarding divorce and the ones that follow are taken from other sections of the Mosaic law, including the one about swearing falsely and performing oaths to the Lord.

Read Leviticus 19:11-13. What specific points do we find here? See also Exod. 20:7.

The Mosaic law, from which Jesus quotes, is listed in a section of Leviticus that condemns a number of deceptive practices. Here again it is evident that Jesus’ concern is with the intentions. Anyone who makes a promise with no intention of fulfilling it has made a conscious decision to sin.

Though the command against swearing falsely relates to promises made to other people, the second command concerns promises made to God.

Read Deuteronomy 23:21-23. In what way do these verses relate to Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:33-37? See also Acts 5:1-11.

Unlike the person guilty of false swearing, the one who makes a financial pledge to God is not necessarily intending to defraud. However, Jesus knows human nature and cautions against making promises that one may later regret. Rather than making promises that may not even be in the power of the individual to fulfill, a Christian should be a person of integrity whose yes means yes and nomeans no.

break time jam sessions #electronicdrumsaretheworst

Adultery (Matt. 5:27-32)

Jesus’ next example involves commandments concerning adultery. He first cites the seventh commandment, You shall not commit adultery. In the context of the law of Moses, adultery took place when a married person was sexually involved with someone other than a spouse. The law was very clear that both parties found guilty of adultery should be put to death. As with the sixth commandment, Jesus gave the deeper implications of this particular commandment.

Adultery often starts long before the acts are committed. In the same way that murder starts with the intention to inflict permanent harm on an individual, adultery begins at the very moment when an individual lustfully desires another person, married or single, to whom he or she is not married.

Read Matthew 5:29-30. How much more forceful could Jesus be in describing the danger of sin? After looking at these texts, read Romans 7:24. What important truths are found here?

Here, too, Jesus provides an instant remedy for those sins that have been exposed. The solution is not to follow through with the sin but to have a conversion of the heart. With strong metaphors, Jesus counsels the one who has the problem to do what is necessary if she or he wishes to enter the kingdom. This may mean taking a different route to work or terminating a cherished friendship, but eternal gain far outweighs the passions of the moment.

As we saw before, Moses permitted divorce even though he knew it was not a part of God’s original plan. After addressing married men with roaming eyes and admonishing them to control their impulses, Jesus encourages lifelong marriage fidelity.

The surrender of the will is represented as plucking out the eye or cutting off the hand. Often it seems to us that to surrender the will to God is to consent to go through life maimed or crippled. But it is better, says Christ, for self to be maimed, wounded, crippled, if thus you may enter into life. That which you look upon as disaster is the door to highest benefit. Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 61. What implication might these words have for you?

getyourassbeat:

puffyfluffs:

this is a video of a baby sloth getting shaved, buttered and wrapped in bandages because it was sick 

how do you even move on from watching this video

the little hug at the end gets me every time!

(Source: evildeadass, via creativesensations)

sabdiasep:

pages outta the moleskin

for you jerks

wannabeanimator:

DreamWorks has released the first five minutes of How to Train Your Dragon 2

"There’s nothing worse than when you see a band that’s got their hit on The OC or whatever the fuck it is, the TV show or the car commercial,” agrees Peter. “And they go out and they’re playing their set and people are clapping. And they play that one song and everyone goes ape shit. And they do the next song and everyone claps politely. That ain’t music, that’s a ham sandwich. That’s not fans. That’s not people loving the music or loving the song. We’ve always tried to have fans of music. So when you say, can we see ourselves being that, no, I can’t. We’re trying to go about it in a different way, in terms of presenting our music to people. In this time and age maybe what we do is too old school for people. It used to be respected but maybe now things have come round to consuming and it’s just about money. It’s more respected how much money you make instead of what music you make. Our idea is we signed to a major label and tried to keep our ideals of how things should be done within that system and we’ve held to it pretty good. Because of that maybe we won’t have millions of records sold. But at this point in time I’d rather have respect for ourselves."

Peter Hayes, Let’s Get Ready to Mumble: An Interview with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Robert Collins, 19 August, 2007 (via checkthemeaning)

Murder (Matt. 5:21-26)

After He clarified His intention to uphold the law, Jesus started to explain a righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees. He begins by citing the sixth commandment (Exod. 20:13) and summarizing, from the law of Moses, the penalty for violation(Exod. 21:12Lev. 24:17).

The sixth commandment does not include all cases in which one person kills another. In cases of manslaughter, a person could flee to a city of refuge and gain temporary asylum (Exod. 21:13Num. 35:12). However, one who intentionally took another’s life would receive swift judgment. In His explanation, Jesus does not focus on the act itself but on the motive and intents of the one who commits the act. One might take a life accidentally, but the person who purposes to take a life has gone through a period of deliberation. The sin took place before the person even carried out the terrible deed. Many potential murderers are stopped only by a lack of opportunity.

Read Matthew 5:22. What does Jesus equate to murder? How does 1 John 3:15 help to emphasize the point? What is the real issue here that Jesus is pointing to, and what does this tell us about the real reach of God’s law?

Though the Bible often talks about the power of words, Jesus here takes it to a deeper level. Often, the sole purpose of harsh words or cursing is to evoke negative feelings in the victim. Jesus’ point is crystal clear. It’s not just those who carry through with the crime who are guilty of murder but also those who speak harsh words to others or who even harbor murderous thoughts. Jesus counsels those harboring these thoughts to reconcile with their victims before coming to the altar (Matt. 5:23-26).

Dwell on the implication of Jesus’ words in the texts for today. How well have you done in this regard? What does such a high standard tell you about the need to be covered by Christ’s righteousness at all times?

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