Monthly Archives: February 2013

Sermon Mount Jesus Mormon

For I say unto you that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

You have heard that it was said by them of old time, thou shalt not kill and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say unto you that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment and whosoever shall say to his brother Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say Thou fool shall be in danger of hell fire.

Therefore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar and you remember that your brother has something against you, Leave your gift there, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Yesterday we discussed the fact that Jesus was the only person who had never broken any of the commandments. He was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. In this verse, we learn who he was not referring to when he was speaking of the “least of the kingdom” He says that if your righteousness does not exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you would not enter the kingdom of heaven.If you expect to be even the least in the kingdom of Heaven, you are held to a higher standard than the Scribes or the Pharisees.

He went on to say that he holds his followers to a higher standard when it came to sin. Not murdering was no longer the moral goal. Now the goal was to not be angry without cause.“Raca” is an Aramaic transliteration for “reka,” a term expressing contempt, scorn, or disdain. The Greek word “rhaka” means worthless, vain or empty one, signifying a lack of intellect (i.e. Imbecile or blockhead). It is only found in Matt. 5:22. The word was derived from a root word meaning “to spit”, and the Jews used it as a word of contempt.

Now that we have a definition of this word “raca”, I picture someone who is so angry at someone that they literally spit on the ground at the mention of that person’s name. It gives the impression concerning the idea behind shunning someone. If you say that someone else is “stupid” or an “idiot” you’re held accountable to it. You are held to a higher standard.

When we take the time to talk with God, when we take the time to bring our tithes and offerings to further the God’s kingdom, even though it is a good thing, and an important thing to do, your bigger responsibility is to go and ask your brother for being angry with him. Why? You are held to a higher standard.


Jesus said:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For truly I say unto you. Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.

Whoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-20.

This passage tells us that Jesus said that he did not come into the world to destroy the law (bring it to an end), but he came to fulfill it. (bring what the law and the prophets). He said that not “one jot or one tittle would pass from the law until all of what the law and the prophets promised. So what exactly is a jot and a tittle? A jot is the name of the least letter of an alphabet or the smallest part of a piece of writing.Jot is and English form of the Greek word iota or the smallest letter of the Greek alphabet and corresponds to the Roman letter i. The Hebrew form of this word is jod or yodr, the smallest letter of the square Hebrew alphabet. To this day we use the word jot to mean “a tiny amount”

jot or tittleA tittle, which sounds as if it were a combination of tiny and little is even smaller than a jot.  It is a small stroke or point in writing or printing. In classical Latin this applied to any accent over a letter, but is now most commonly used as the name for the dot over the letter ‘i’. A tittle is also the name of the dots on dice. The word tittle was replaced by the word dot in the the 1700s. Today we may say “dot your i’s, but back in Chaucer or Shakespeare’s day, would have said to “tittle them.

Therefore, when verse 17 says that not one jot or tittle would pass until all the law be fulfilled, this contradicts what much of the church world tells us. The law did not pass away when Christ died on the cross, because heaven and earth both still exist.

Whoever breaks even the least of the commandments and teaches that the law and the prophets have passed away will be the least in the kingdom, but he whose behavior consistently lines up with the law will be the greatest in the kingdom. The only man who consistently obeyed the law was Jesus himself.

Owls Head Lighthouse

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven. Matthew 5: 14-16

As believers, we are the light of the world. Light is a  remarkable form of energy produced by luminous objects. According to John 1:3-5 it says that all things were made by the Word (Jesus) and that everything was made by him. It says that in him was life and he was the light of men. We are the light of the world because we carry his light within us.

Light can travel through vacuum, and can penetrate through transparent materials but cannot pass through opaque objects. As Jesus said here in Matthew 5, we can’t hide his true light. Either we have it and show it, or we do not. We can’t hide it any more than we can hide a candle under a bushel basket. Either the candle will go out, or it will burn up the basket.

Another characteristic of light is that light will  bounce back when made to fall on polished surfaces such as mirrors or metal surfaces. This bouncing back of light is described as reflection. It takes the path of least time in passing from one point to the other. When we display the light of Christ in our lives, we reflect his love for those around us. If our love is genuine, anyone who receives our love will reflect that same love.

The change in the velocity of light when it travels from one transparent medium to another is described as refraction. This refraction distorts the light. Sin causes refraction in the light that we shine. If we have unforgiveness, fear, pride, or selfishness of any kind in our lives, it distorts how others see our light.

Our primary responsibility as Christians is to reflect God’s love in our lives. We are to let our light shine and not be hid. We must not let sin distort it. We must do things in such a way that everyone will recognize that the great works that we do are not of ourselves, but comes from God. They, in turn, will glorify our Father who lives in Heaven.

You are the Salt of the Earth; but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is therefore good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Matthew 5:13

There are negative and positive attributes of salt.The positivity towards salt in this phrase conflicts with the negative uses of the word salt. For instance, in the Middle Ages, people spread salt on land to poison it, as a punishment to landowners who had transgressed against society in some way. But it is obvious that Jesus was referring to the positive aspects of salt here.

  • Salt is a necessary mineral in our bodies. Without salt, our bodies would not function properly. Our bodies would not be able balance the fluids in our bodies because we lack this electrolyte. As followers of God, we should be creating balance in the world around us.
  • In the Old Testament it was played an important role in the performance of sacrifices and offerings.
  • Salt was used to salt food and give it flavor. As Jesus stated, salt’s flavor was important to its use. He was metaphorically saying that God’s people spice up, and improve life for those around them.
  • Salt was used as a preservative. It prevents foods from spoiling. God’s people acting as salt preserves others from the power of sin and eternal death.
  • Salt is beneficial as a cleansing agent. A sore throat is soothed when we gargle with salt water. We improve the world around us when we are instrumental in demonstrating the good news of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
  • In Biblical times, salt was traditionally used along with other spices when a body was prepared for burial.
  • Salt was considered valuable and was used as a commodity for trading. God considers his followers very valuable.
  • Salt melts ice. A follower of God melts a stone-cold icy heart. When God’s followers share his love with others, hearts are melted, making them open to relationship with God and God’s people.

When we consider someone “the salt of the earth”, we generally mean that these people are genuine, simple, devoted, loyal,giving, and honest. They add value to others around them. I have to ask myself today whether I am genuinely that type of person.

If we lose our saltiness, this verse tells us that we will be trampled under the feet of men.Are we allowing ourselves be used by God in his service? Are we helping create balance in the world around us? Do we spice up the lives of those around us? Do we act as a preservative and a cleansing agent? Are we someone God considers valuable because we display his love to those around us and met the coldest of hearts with his love radiating from us?  Today,  I too have to ask myself if I am behaving like salt. I have to question in what ways that I become more salty as a Christ follower. How will you show your savor today?

Blessing are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are you when  men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad; for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were  before you–Matthew 5:10-12

The word translated revile is the word oneidizo which means to taunt, upbraid, chide, rail at, defame. the word translated persecute is the word dioko to pursue, to persecute, follow after, cause to suffer. I have known several people who claimed they were being persecuted.

When I compared their belief that they were persecuted with this verse, I had my doubts to whether they were actually being persecuted with the conditions stated in these verses. First of all, the persecution had to be false. Too often, we are not really being persecuted, we are being prosecuted. In other words, we are reaping what we sewed. We are being paid back for our own indiscretions.  I have know self-professing Christians who treated others unkindly and when those other people did not treat them with respect, the Christians claimed that they were being persecuted. That’s not being persecuted, that is being treated in the same manner that those professing Christians treated others.

These verses do not refer to them. What these verses are talking about is the type of persecution like Daniel endured. (Daniel 6:14-24) Daniel defied the law so that he could worship his God and was placed in the lions den for his tenacity. He didn’t mistreat anyone. Instead he simply and quietly stood up for what he believed. With integrity he refused to worship no other god but the one true God.

This is the kind of persecution we will be rewarded for. This kind of prosecution might not lead to the kind of deliverance that Daniel faced. Many people have died in their faith, but as these verses state, he has given us promise of blessings in Heaven. As we continue our studies of Matthew, we will discover more about the Kingdom of Heaven.

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