3. Jesus did not replace any of the old laws.
“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” (Matthew 5:17).
The Old Testament and the New Testament combined provide the complete story of our salvation. Jesus’ teaching seemed radical to the listening disciples, but He wasn’t re-inventing the proverbial wheel.
They were missing so much of the complete picture, it was hard for them to wrap their minds around what Jesus was saying. They were used to religion, and all of the rules they had learned to follow their entire lives in order to be counted worthy of God. Now Jesus was adding the rest of the story …and it may have seemed too good to be true!
“The words of this sermon,” wrote John Foster for Life, Hope and Truth, “are as relevant today as they were when Christ spoke them!” We submit the authority of our lives to Christ and let His goodness and love flow through us. In Christ we become new creations.
4. Jesus spoke directly to our anxious hearts.
“Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25).
True form to the Author of our hearts, Jesus must have sensed the level of panic amidst His listeners. No one could live up to these standards! And that was His point. “He points his followers beyond the basics of human existence that can consume the natural mind, especially when food and drink and clothing become scarce,” wrote David Mathis for Desiring God. “However, if we know the Father, we know how he cares for his creatures and, all the more, his image-bearers.”
In addition, regarding the things we worry about and compare our lives to at times – our looks and our stuff, and even the more basic necessities like food and shelter – He instructs us not to worry about these things.
When we follow Jesus, we put our trust in who He is, not what we are capable of. God is our Provider, Defender, and Creator. He is faithful and compassionate. There is nothing we could ever do could lose His love.
“And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29).
Jesus, God made flesh to dwell among us, undeniably revealed more of His identity as He preached the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew Henry explained in his commentary “The multitudes were astonished at the wisdom and power of Christ’s doctrine. And this sermon, ever so often read over, is always new. Every word proves its Author to be Divine.”
Jesus spoke with an authority they had not previously witnessed. And to this day, when we hear or read this sermon, we can feel the authority by which Christ spoke, not just to those who sat in immediate proximity to Him at the time, but for generations to come. He spoke for us, too, rich wisdom to ease our minds and motivate our souls to action for the glory of God the Father. Christ, Himself, lived in obedience to the Father, to bring glory to the Father. We are created and purposed to do the same.
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