The NT365 Experiment: Matthew 5

UnknownWhat does it mean to be a disciple? Jesus tells us in his most famous sermon. Matthew recorded this sermon beginning with the beatitudes and then moving into a systematic discussion of the right application of God’s law in Christ’s kingdom.

Salt and Light

Jesus’ disciples are to be salt to the earth and the light of the world. Salt brings flavor and preserves. Light brings clarity and exposure. As Christ’s followers, we are called to both season/preserve the world in which we live and to clarify truth and expose darkness/sin.

Think how you can be a seasoning and preserving agent to the world in which you live today. Think about how you can be effectively used by God to clarify his truth and expose darkness today.

This is challenging for two reasons. First, we are all aware of our own sinfulness and brokenness. We know our personal need for preservation and seasoning. We know our need for the truth to be clarified in our lives and the places where we hide in the darkness. Second, we must be a seasoning, preserving, clarifying, and exposing agent to the world in love. We don’t want to be harsh and overly judgmental in our work for Christ.

So, Jesus teaches us beginning in chapter five the importance of bringing our lives into submission to him, the importance of living a righteous life. If we are concerned with the sin in our lives, we need to deal with it. We need live in a manner worthy of Christ’s kingdom. If we are concerned with the way in which we approach others, we need to ensure that we do it in love – a love that isn’t satisfied with making people feel good, but is concerned with leading them to righteousness in Christ.

Questions of Application

  1. Do you lose your temper and fly off the handle easily? How can you begin to control your anger?
  2. How do you deal with lust? Are you prepared to take the necessary steps to address the lust problem in your life? What are those steps? When do you begin those steps?
  3. Do you get satisfaction in retaliation, in hurting those who hurt you? What is one way you can deal with the hurt without retaliation?
  4. Can you love your enemies? Do you pray for those who seek you harm? Who is one person that you consider an enemy? How can you pray for him/her?

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