Radical Relationships

A great part of reading the Bible is that we are brought into  close relationship with God's desire for the best life for all of humanity. Jesus is the greatest proclaimer and manifestation of God's sincerest will and deep love for us. However, we who read the words of Jesus and seek to follow them may often find them difficult to attain, but when we understand the extensive relationship that God wants to establish with us it becomes much easier.

The fifth chapter of Matthew's gospel lays out Jesus' keynote address to his disciples first, then to the general public, about the new age to come where the laws of living under God's will, according to Jesus, go further and deeper than they had been previously taught by the religious leaders of the temple during that time. In verses 21 through 37, we find Jesus telling about a more profound understanding of some of the laws that Moses gave, commonly referred to as the Ten Commandments. Jesus set the record straight about how everyone should interpret and follow those commandments and raised the level of his spiritual standard for his followers exponentially, but some of his teachings seem impossible to carry out.

For us today, those words of Jesus may cause us to reconsider how we see ourselves in relationship to his wide-ranging interpretation of the Ten Commandments and particularly to reconsider our relationship with those we are in close connection with through our transformed thoughts, words, and actions. We all have held close to our tried and true ways of how we should think, speak, and act as believers in God, but in the light of Jesus' teachings in Matthew, think about these things -

  • What did it mean when Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times?"
  • What does it mean to study and grow more comprehensively as a disciple of Jesus?
  • How do we apply the teachings of Jesus in our present-day context?

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