For those of you joining us from the Discover Conference in Shelbyville, IN, “WELCOME!” What a fun day we had on Saturday!
As I walked by a book store this afternoon I saw an “Amelia Bedelia” book. I didn’t have time to go inside and check it out, but just the thought of this character from my childhood brought back fun memories. If you aren’t familiar with Amelia Bedelia, she was a housekeeper who was always doing wacky things because she would act out instructions literally. For instance, I remember in one of the books she was instructed to “draw the curtains” so rather than opening the curtains, she got out her sketch pad and pencil and began drawing a picture of the curtains. Another time she made a spongecake with real sponges! Ha! She needed someone to walk along side her and tell her, “You heard me say, ‘Draw the curtains,’ but what I meant was, ‘Pull the curtains back so that the sunlight can come in.’ ”
As I was reading through Matthew 5, I couldn’t help but see the correlation between what Jesus is saying in His sermon and Amelia Bedelia. If you have your Bible handy, grab it and read through chapter 5, then jump back here…we’ll wait for you.
Looking at Matthew 5, how many times does Jesus say something similar to “It has been said…But I tell you…”?
Over and over again in this chapter Jesus addresses hot topics using this contrast. But before He addresses these topics He prefaces this portion of this sermon by saying that He has come to fulfill the Law. He actually says, “Don’t think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish but to fulfill them.” (v 17) Then He challenges His disciples to live a life that is more righteous than the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. This challenge, by literal standards would be extremely difficult, as the Pharisees were very careful to live out every letter of the law.
But then Jesus goes into the section I want you to think about today. He begins his “You have heard that it was said…but I tell you…” As I read this I had to ask myself, so what’s the bottom line. And today, I’m not going to give you an answer to that question. Rather, I’d love for you to grab your Bible or look up the passage online, either way, read Matthew 5:17-48. As you read make a list of two things, 1) the “you have heard it said” statements & 2) the “but I tell you” statements.
After you have made these two lists look over them and see if you can see the bottom line Jesus is communicating. Think about the what His main point is in all of these statements. What is He really saying about righteousness? Then relate this to your life…what does this mean for you and me?
As you think through this chapter, leave a comment below and share your answers to the questions above.
I pray that as you read through this chapter you will let God speak to your heart about His Word.
Can’t wait to hear what you learn!
Faith Klein Herrgesell