Uploaded by Joshua LeMire

Matthew 5

Matthew 5:43-48
Sermon on the mount is one of Christ’s longest and most well-known teachings
throughout his ministry on earth, its one of the places where Christ’s authority was
Also something really cool to notice is the importance of mountains, God’s presence is
often seen on a mountain, for example mount Sinai when God met with Moses, giving
him instruction and the laws. And we see Jesus here on a mountain, giving instruction
just like God, further establishing his authority.
Even nonreligious people have turned to this passage because it is full of great wisdom
that deserves much reflection and time
We are going focus on Chapter 5 verses 43-48, which focus in on Christ’s teaching about
how we view and treat people.
READ 5:43-48
Alright so what is Jesus getting at here?
It is important to remember that Christ’s goal was not to abolish or replace the law
before that was Given by God in the OT, but to fulfill it. We see this just a few verses
before in Matthew 5:17. Jesus addresses what the law before did but just to a deeper
level, exposing the heart of the message.
In these passages of Chapter 5, Jesus compares 6 times that “you have heard it said” or
“you have read” and then goes deeper into that concept, these all refer back to Levitical
laws that we can read for ourselves.
In regards to matthew 5:43-44, We see this specific law in Leviticus 19:18 “Do not seek
revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people but love your neighbor as
yourself. I am the LORD”
This begs the question, who is considered our neighbor? Lets look at the rest of Leviticus
19 to understand it a little more.
Verse 16 says ‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people.
Verse 17 says ‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor
frankly so you will not share in their guilt.
And remember that verse 18 says ‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone
among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD
So in these verses we see this idea that “your neighbor” refers to “your people”, in this
case it would be a fellow Israelite.
However, read what verse 33 and 34 say, ‘When a foreigner resides among you in your
land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your
native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your
First we started with our core crew, our people. Then we expanded to people outside
our circles and outside our cliques.
If we head back to Matthew 5, we will see that Jesus not only wants us to love our
people, not only love outsiders, but also love those who hate you and that you hate.
Those people you just cant stand, maybe because they have wronged you in a way, or
maybe you just don’t like the attention they receive. Those are the people that Jesus
wants you to not only love, but also pray over. DO a concrete and intentional act of
kindness for their sake.
Why is that?
This is the reasoning behind why jesus is inviting us to this new worldview, one that
loves the people who you just can’t stand. Because… weather patterns and to be
children of God.
I don’t think Jesus is saying that this is the entry requirement but hes saying that for
those who recognize Jesus as the son of God that this to reflect the characteristics of
God that have been revealed in Jesus.
How do you know what God is like? Just look at the weather, according to Jesus here.
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the
righteous and the unrighteous”
To the good farmer who treats his workers fairly and honestly and to the bad
farmer that treats their workers poorly and dishonorably, God sends the same
rain. This is all referring to the fact that God doesn’t treat people according to
how they behave.
Let me be clear, God will hold us all accountable one day, not on earth in this
lifetime, but the concept Jesus is trying to get across is that God doesn’t treat you
better just because you deserve it, or think you deserve it.
IF this is how God is, and if we are to reflect God, this is how we MUST be.
This idea is further established all throughout the Bible, sometimes in entire
books like Job or Ecclesiastes, or sometimes the Psalms like Psalm 145:8-9
The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
What does this love look like?
The Greek word used there for love is Agape which means unconditional love
that transcends and persists regardless of circumstance, going beyond the
emotions and seeking the best for others. Agape is love that is displayed through
attitude and through action.
This is Jesus not asking for warm fuzzies from you towards those you cant stand
but an invitation to view your enemies in a certain way, how God sees them.
According to God, this person is beloved and receives the same grace/mercy that
I receive. They may be messed up in ways different than me but ultimately they
are a human being made in the image of God.
God has come among us in the person of Jesus in order to do a great agape,
choosing to go a great act of love through action, that action being taking on our
sin on our behalf and for our sake.
If I call myself a Christian, a disciple of Christ, then I have no right to treat
someone as unloved when Jesus chose to treat us BOTH as loved through action,
Now I’m not saying you lay awake at night telling yourself to have good thoughts
about them. No I’m saying that you cannot stand them, but in the midst of that
you CHOOSE to put on an attitude of love, sacrificing your prode and comfort in
order for them to see God’s love act through you.
Sometimes we act out of love becayse we feel like it. Right? Like it’s easier to love
your closest friends or IDK amy dyson because we know they will love us back.
This is what Jesus is addressing in verses 46-47.
Remember that a pagan, in this context, would refer to a non-jewish person.
Jesus is saying that “look its easy to love people who you know will love you back.
Even nonreligious people do that and they don’t even have the Torah! they can do it
without God telling them they should do it!”
It is easier to love our own people and that’s exactly the issue, this is exclusivity.
WE naturally gravitate towards people who you know will treat you nicely in return, and
this is ultimately self-centered. WE are judging and choosing who we should love based
on what we can get in return. Is this how the kingdom of God is supposed to operate?
No. WE should not be operating on worldly standards but ones that reflect our Father.
This leads up to the last verse. 48
Holy, I’m done for.
Jesus is telling me I should be perfect, what in the world am I supposed to do?
This isn’t a call to an unattainable idea but a challenge ti grow in obedience towards
God’s will.
The Greek word that we translated to “Perfect” here in this verse is Teleos, which refers
to whole, complete, mature.
When you choose to treat and view someone as a human being, regardless of their
behavior, and preform an act of kindness and generosity towards them, according to
jesus right here, that is when you are being most like God, being most like the human
we are meant to be.
This is exactly what the author of 1 John is getting at in 1 John 4
Verses 7-11 say “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not
love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love
among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live
through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent
his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved
us, we also ought to love one another.”
Back to Matthew 5, Jesus is saying here that we are most like God in that moment, when
you deny what seems so natural to our broken sinful selves, we are participating in God
and his will for mankind.
I find this so profound and also one of the hardest things we can do.
Tonight I want us to end a little differently than normal
We have talked a lot about loving through more than just fuzzy feelings but also action.
So I want us to practice that tonight.
The ways that Jesus would love people are immeasurable, but one of my favorites is in
John 13.
Knowing that Judas was soon to betray him, this is what we see Jesus treat him.
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had
come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off
his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured
water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the
towel that was wrapped around him.
Later on, 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and
returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked
them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I
am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should
wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I
have done for you.
Knowing that God has given him all authority of heaven and earth, knowing that Judas was
going to betray him, what did Jesus choose to do? He humbly knelt down and washed his
disciple’s feet.
I know this may be a little awkward and a little uncomfortable, but this is what I’m going to
ask you to do tonight. Around the room there are signs with grades on them. I’m asking you
to humble yourself, go to these signs, and wash each other’s feet. I know its awkward, I
know it can be uncomfortable, I understand that. It is supposed to be. Move through past
that awkwardness, and treat your neighbor with the same dignity and respect that Jesus