Together in the Word (Matthew 5)

This past Sunday (February 17) we studied Matthew 5. Below is a brief outline of the chapter, a few observations we discussed, and a couple applications we made together as we endeavor to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22).

Chapter Outline

  • Attitude of Citizens of the Kingdom of God (vv. 1-12).
  • Influence of Citizens of the Kingdom of God (vv. 13-16).
  • Jesus and the Law (vv. 17-48).

Observations

  • Jesus is addressing his disciples (v. 1); what follows is a primer on discipleship.
  • Jesus had just been healing “all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics” (v. 4:24). That he then enters into this discourse reminds of man’s spiritual needs and that “man shall not live by bread alone” (v. 4:4).
  • The beatitudes (vv. 2-12) show us that true happiness is not connected to our circumstances.
  • Some of the blessing mentioned are for the present, while others are for the future.
  • Our nature as Kingdom citizens is salty and bright (vv. 13-16) and as such we are to be a positive influence in the world around us.
  • Christ has not nullified the Old Testament, but fulfilled it (vv. 17-18). As such He calls us to a righteousness beyond our own efforts, attainable only in Him (v. 20).
  • God is concerned not only with outward actions, but also with the motive from which those actions come. This is seen by Jesus equating anger with murder (vv. 21-26) and lust with adultery (vv. 27-30).
  • God is omniscient, all-knowing, and completely aware of our motives even if those around us are not.
  • God is merciful, not giving us what we deserve. He “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (v. 45).

Applications

  • Could our lifestyles be described as salt and light (vv. 13-14)?
  • The study of the Old Testament has great value for believers today in that it points to Jesus (vv. 17-18).
  • The righteousness that God requires (v. 20) is not attainable through personal effort and comes only through Jesus.
  • God is not impressed by our outward shows of righteousness.
  • Being at odds with others, especially other believers (v. 23-24), hinders our worship of God.
  • We are to be peacemakers (v. 9), not seeking retaliation (vv. 38-42) and loving our enemies (vv. 43-48).