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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Matthew's Gospel

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Frameworks: Matthew's Gospel, chapter 5

 

(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)

   

FRAMEWORKS: Matthew, chapter 5

 

v.1,2 Jesus settles down to teach
v.3-12 The Beatitudes
v.13-16 Salt and Light
v.17-20 The Fulfillment of the Law
v.21-26 Murder
v.27-30 Adultery
v.31-32 Divorce
v.33-37 Oaths
v.38-42 Eye for Eye
v.43-48 Love for Enemies

 

[Note: Commentators observe that there are six ‘discourse' (addresses) in Matthew. Chapters 5 to 7 comprise what is referred to as the Sermon on the Mount, the first of these addresses. A similar text appears in Luke but on a plain and it is probable that Jesus repeated the various things in these chapters numerous times at different places. It is suggested, therefore, that Matthew simply collected a number of these together here, or maybe this was one specific time when Jesus addressed the subjects covered here. For the other discourses see the bottom of the page]

v.1,2 Jesus settles down to teach

 

v.1,2 (teachers taught sitting down, a mountainside meant many could hear) Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

 

v.3-12 The Beatitudes (short sayings that encapsulate how to receive the goodness of God)

 

He said:

v.3  (there is a need to recognise spiritual poverty before being able to receive from God) “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
v.4  (if you grieve over your spiritual poverty, God will comfort you) Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
v.5  (gentleness of spirit is a prerequisite for receiving all God has for us) Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
v.6 (a yearning to be living aright will mean receiving from God) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,  for they will be filled.
v.7 (having a right heart towards others will open the door to receiving God's unmerited acceptance ) Blessed are the merciful,  for they will be shown mercy.
v.8  (purity of heart is for those who would know God) Blessed are the pure in heart,   for they will see God.
v.9  (God's family are peacemakers) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
v.10 (opposition comes when you are good for God) Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

v.11  (God will bless you when you suffer like this) “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

v.12  (you'll get your reward in heaven for taking opposition now) Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

v.13-16 Salt and Light

 

v.13 (our lives are to bring purity to the world) “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

v.14  (our lives are to bring revelation to the world) “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

v.15  (we are called to be seen) Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

v.16  (so be bold in your goodness) In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

v.17-20 The Fulfillment of the Law

 

v.17 (these lives fulfil the Law) “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

v.18 (nothing that God has said will ever be lost) For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

v.19 (rejecting these things mans trouble with God, accepting them means blessing from God) Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

v.20 (this faith righteousness has got to be better than the false self-righteousness of the Pharisees) For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

v.21-26 Anger & Murder (the first of the ways we are to righteously live out our lives)

 

v.21 (the Law speaks against murder) “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, [Exodus 20:13] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.'

v.22 (but unrighteous anger & abuse is as bad) But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,' [An Aramaic term of contempt] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

v.23,24  (don't be religious but ensure you put right bad relationships) “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

v.25 (don't end up with court cases, reconcile outside court) “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.

v.26 (if you don't it can go seriously bad) Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

 

v.27-30 Lust & Adultery (the second of the ways we are to righteously live out our lives)

 

v.27 (so the Law condemns adultery) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.' [Exo 20:14]

v.28 (but wrongly looking at a woman lustfully is just as bad) But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

v.29,30 (take whatever steps are necessary to avoid sinning and cope with the consequences that follow) If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

 

v.31-32 Divorce (the third of the ways we are to righteously live out our lives)

 

v.31 (the Law allowed divorce after a certificate is issued) “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.' [Deut. 24:1]

v.32 (but unless the cause is adulty you only create more sin) But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

 

v.33-37 Oaths (the fourth of the ways we are to righteously live out our lives)

 

v.33 (the Law said don't break oaths) “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.'

v.34-36 (but trying to make the oath more important by invoking a name or place is meaningless and wrong) But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.

v. 37   ( be simple with yes or no and stick to it) All you need to say is simply ‘Yes' or ‘No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

 

v.38-42 Eye for Eye (the fifth of the ways we are to righteously live out our lives)

 

v.38 (the Law required equal retribution) “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. '[Exo 21:24; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21]

v.39 (but I say just turn the other cheek) But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

v.40 (if some takes action for your shirt give them your coat as well) And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

v.41 (if they demand a mile, go two) If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles .

v.42 (give when asked) Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

 

v.43-48 Love for Enemies

 

v.43 (it was sate hate your enemy) “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'

v.44,45 (but I say love them and pray for them, they are all under God's watchful eye and provision) But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

v.46 (loving those who love you costs nothing) If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

v.47 (if you greet only friends don't unbelievers do that) And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

v.48 (we whole, complete, like God is) Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

 

[Note: The Discourses of Matthew:

Ch.5-7 The Sermon on the Mount
10:5-42 The Charge to the Twelve
Ch.13 The parables of the kingdom
Ch.18 Teaching on Greatness & Forgiveness
Ch.23 Denunciation of the Pharisees
Ch.24-25 Running up to the last times]