Jesus here was not trying to give hard and fast principles that are applicable under all circumstances, but was stating the ideals which govern His kingdom. "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with the other"--He with us and we with Him--"and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us"--us who have this fellowship, and who, without such continual cleansing, would soon lose it again--"from all sin" ( 1 John 1:6 1 John 1:7 ). The purpose of Matthew to present the truth relating Jesus as the King and the message of the kingdom is the guiding principle in placing the Sermon on the Mount here so early in Matthew’s gospel. The Sermon on the Mount, as a whole, is not church truth precisely. Meaning of Matthew principle. In the gospels, Jesus was presenting Himself as the prophesied King, and the kingdom He was offering is the prophesied kingdom. The meaning, then, is, "In loving those who love you, there is no evidence of superior principle; the worst of men will do this: even a publican will go that length. Towards men this disposition is the opposite of high-mindedness, and a quarrelsome and revengeful spirit; it "rather takes wrong, and suffers itself to be defrauded" ( 1 Corinthians 6:7 ); it "avenges not itself, but rather gives place unto wrath" ( Romans 12:19 ); like the meek One, "when reviled, it reviles not again; when it suffers, it threatens not: but commits itself to Him that judgeth righteously" ( 1 Peter 2:19-22 ). Proceeding from matters which offend a brother, or debts which are owed a brother, He then took up the matter of adultery and lust and its relationship to divorce. These three major discourses should be contrasted to the fourth discourse found in John’s gospel, 13-17, dealing specifically with the spiritual character of the present age in which God would call out His church. After years of ungodly living and scorning of Christians, as he grew old he went to live with his sister who happened to be a Christian. A few of those who assent to this still think that "to the ancients" is the only legitimate translation of the words; understanding that our Lord is reporting what had been said to the ancients, not by Moses, but by the perverters of his law. Whosoever therefore shall break--rather, "dissolve," "annul," or make "invalid." 3. That the Sermon on the Mount presents ethical content all agree. The term Matthew principle denotes the principle that those who are already provided for will receive more. God wants nothing from us as the price of His saving gifts; we have but to feel our universal destitution, and cast ourselves upon His compassion ( Job 33:27 Job 33:28 , 1 John 1:9 ). 33 Many independent works on the Sermon on the Mount have been published, most of them making spiritual applications of these general truths to Christians living today. Nearly all who would translate "to the ancients" take the speaker of the words quoted to be Moses in the law; "the ancients" to be the people to whom Moses gave the law; and the intention of our Lord here to be to contrast His own teaching, more or less, with that of Moses; either as opposed to it--as some go the length of affirming--or at least as modifying, enlarging, elevating it. Those who are premillenarian can understand this as referring to the earthly kingdom predicted in the Old Testament. offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable, such stern truths and awful lessons seems characteristic of our Lord's manner of teaching. . 40. Though the latter only answered to the subjects of His kingdom, described in this discourse, there were drawn from time to time into this inner circle souls from the outer one, who, by the power of His matchless word, were constrained to forsake their all for the Lord Jesus. Even Lenski considers the Sermon on the Mount as presenting the gospel in its fundamental content.30 Kelly states the matter correctly: “The sermon on the mount treats not of salvation, but of the character and conduct of those that belong to Christ—the true yet rejected king.31. 17-19); the righteousness of the kingdom as compared to the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees (vv. 25. But, What is to be the issue of that Christianity which is found wanting in those elements which can alone stay the corruption and season the tastelessness of an all--pervading carnality? Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. As in dealing with the sixth commandment our Lord first expounds it, and then in the four following verses applies His exposition ( Matthew 5:21-25 ), so here He first expounds the seventh commandment, and then in the four following verses applies His exposition ( Matthew 5:28-32 ). On these precious Beatitudes, observe that though eight in number, there are here but seven distinct features of character. When we find God's own procedure held up for imitation in the law, and much more in the prophets ( Leviticus 19:2 , 20:26 ; and compare 1 Peter 1:15 1 Peter 1:16 ), we may see that the principle of this surprising verse was nothing new: but the form of it certainly is that of One who spake as never man spake. 42. As in every text of Scripture, the truth presented must be first of all seen in its context. (See 5:12 , 2 Corinthians 1:17 2 Corinthians 1:18 ). When the Baptist's words--"I say unto you" ( Matthew 3:9 )--are compared with those of his Master here, the difference of the two cases will be at once apparent. 36. The result would be that they would not attract men to themselves but would glorify the Father in heaven. The Principle of an “Eye for an Eye” – Matthew 5:38-42 The tradition of the Mosaic Law was a “one for one” retribution. Salt operates internally, in the mass with which it comes in contact; the sunlight operates externally, irradiating all that it reaches. Matthew 5:9-12 I. Even in the Psalm from which these words are taken the promise to the meek is not held forth as an arbitrary reward, but as having a kind of natural fulfilment. Matthew 5:23-26 says, "Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and first go and be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 38-42); and laws relating to enemies (vv. Matthew 5:33-37, thieving vows 5:33 “Again you have heard that it was said to them of old time, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall perform to the Lord your vows,’ 34 but I tell you, don’t swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God; 35 nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. The one is the intellectual, the other the emotional aspect of the same thing. Certainly, if this be the highest act of worship on earth, such reconciliation though obligatory on all other occasions of worship--must be peculiarly so then. As we continue studying Christ's commands in the New Testament, I thought we would do well to review the key points of Matthew chapter 5, and tie them together with the principles of the chapter we will be studying now. Many events recorded later in the gospel actually occurred before the Sermon on the Mount. So disciples, without true moral character and spiritual commitment to the King, are useless in the kingdom of heaven. To this the following answers should suffice: "Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." 10. In placing this discourse early in Matthew, the intent is plainly to set forth the main principles of Christ’s teaching, which are subsequently rejected in Matthew 8-12. Well might BENGEL exclaim, "Magnificent appellation!" 21. Therefore--to apply the foregoing, and show its paramount importance. And if thy right eye--the readier and the dearer of the two. The answer is: That is but the first and partial effect of their Christianity upon the world: though the great proportion would dislike and reject the truth, a small but noble band would receive and hold it fast; and in the struggle that would ensue, one and another even of the opposing party would come over to His ranks, and at length the Gospel would carry all before it. In verses 13-16, disciples are compared to salt and a lamp. but, Since living Christianity is the only "salt of the earth," if men lose that, what else can supply its place? This is an important principle in a day when many confuse mercy with … The spirit, then, of the whole statement may be thus given: "For ages ye have been taught that the sixth commandment, for example, is broken only by the murderer, to pass sentence upon whom is the proper business of the recognized tribunals. The conscience thus purged--the heart thus sprinkled--there is light within wherewith to see God. It will be observed that as the principle on which we are to "agree" with this "Adversary" is not here specified, and the precise nature of the retribution that is to light upon the despisers of this warning is not to be gathered from the mere use of the word "prison"; so, the remedilessness of the punishment is not in so many words expressed, and still less is its actual cessation taught. In the kingdom, it was not only true that they should not perjure themselves by failing to perform their oath, which was prohibited in the Mosaic law (Num 30:2), but in the kingdom they were not to swear at all, especially in view of man’s limited ability to fulfill his oath. "According to the view given in Scripture," says TRENCH most justly, "the Christian stands in a middle point, between a mercy received and a mercy yet needed." No wonder that the Romans charged the Jews with hatred of the human race. Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself--These are not the precise words of Exodus 20:7 ; but they express all that it was currently understood to condemn, namely, false swearing ( Leviticus 19:12 , &c.). 17-19); the righteousness of the kingdom as compared to the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees (vv. 12. In what esteem this is held by Him who seeth not as man seeth, we may learn from 1 Peter 3:4 , where the true adorning is said to be that of "a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price." Matthew’s third major discourse, in Matthew 24-25, dealt with the end time preceding the second coming. for he maketh his sun--"your Father's sun." What John describes as casual, new birth or new life, Matthew considers as result, new morality, new character, new witness. 24:20; Deut. Without it we are inaccessible to the riches of Christ; with it we are in the fitting state for receiving all spiritual supplies ( Revelation 3:17 Revelation 3:18 , Matthew 9:12 Matthew 9:13 ). Here, however, He spoke directly to His disciples, probably the inner circle. 5. 27. Lutheran expositors, and some of our own, seem to have a hankering after that more restricted sense of the term in which it is used with reference to the sinner's justification before God. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. Again, this general way of viewing our Lord's words here seems far preferable to that doctrinal understanding of them which would require us to determine the different kinds of "fulfilment" which the moral and the ceremonial parts of it were to have. The ethical teachings of chapter 5 are summed up in the last verse, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”. But since God's people are in so many places styled "the poor" and "the needy," with no evident reference to their temporal circumstances (as in Psalms 68:10 , 69:29-33 , 132:15 , Isaiah 61:1 , 66:2 ), it is plainly a frame of mind which those terms are meant to express. We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. But how, it may be asked, could such beautiful features of character provoke persecution? 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. But that they are two distinct discourses--the one delivered about the close of His first missionary tour, and the other after a second such tour and the solemn choice of the Twelve--is the judgment of others who have given much attention to such matters (of most Romish commentators, including ERASMUS; and among the moderns, of LANGE, GRESWELL, BIRKS, WEBSTER and WILKINSON. do not even the publicans the same?--The publicans, as collectors of taxes due to the Roman government, were ever on this account obnoxious to the Jews, who sat uneasy under a foreign yoke, and disliked whatever brought this unpleasantly before them. The explanation of this lies in the fact that it is generally "the poor of this world" who are "rich in faith" ( James 2:5 ; compare 2 Corinthians 6:10 , Revelation 2:9 ); while it is often "the ungodly" who "prosper in the world" ( Psalms 73:12 ). "The world cannot hate you; but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." Just as Jesus was to fulfill the law Himself, so His disciples also would share in the fulfillment of the law of righteousness. Portions are similar to the Sermon on the Plain in Luke 6, but much of the material is found only in Matthew. Although the Mosaic law, as a dispensation, was to end at the cross, its moral and spiritual implications were to be fulfilled in later dispensations, including the kingdom. Accordingly, in Luke 6:20 Luke 6:21 , it seems to be this class--the literally "poor" and "hungry"--that are specially addressed. The value of salt for these purposes is abundantly referred to by classical writers as well as in Scripture; and hence its symbolical significance in the religious offerings as well of those without as of those within the pale of revealed religion. Whereas Moses said they should not commit murder, in the kingdom it was wrong to be angry with a brother without cause. 6. Why or why not? The article is inserted in both cases to express the familiarity of everyone with those household utensils. According to Deuteronomy 24:1, a woman no longer in favor with her husband could be given a bill of divorcement and sent away. Usually, the former denotes "complacency in the character" of the person loved; but here it denotes the benignant, compassionate outgoings of desire for another's good. The scribes and Pharisees were attempting to fulfill the letter of the law, but were actually breaking the spirit of the law. The Matthew effect of accumulated advantage, Matthew principle, or Matthew effect for short, is sometimes summarized by the adage "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer". quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him--"to the magistrate," as in Luke 12:58 . Colossians 1:19-22 - For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through 20-32); laws relating to perjury (vv. Chapter 5, after describing the setting as a place in the mountains, presents first the Beatitudes (vv. It is impossible, indeed, that "the poor in spirit" and "the mourners" in Zion should not at the same time be "meek"; that is to say, persons of a lowly and gentle carriage. ", 48. The remedy for this, says our Lord here, is the active presence of His disciples among their fellows. The expressions, "whosoever looketh," and "looketh upon a woman," seem clearly to extend the range of this commandment to all forms of impurity, and the counsels which follow--as they most certainly were intended for all, whether married or unmarried--seem to confirm this. But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery--that is, drives her into it in case she marries again. Well, our Lord just takes up here--this blessed frame of mind, representing it as--the surest pledge of the coveted supplies, as it is the best preparative, and indeed itself the beginning of them. But He who had no such affecting reasons for manifesting this beautiful carriage, said, nevertheless, of Himself, "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls" ( Matthew 11:29 ); and the apostle besought one of the churches by "the meekness and gentleness of Christ" ( 2 Corinthians 10:1 ). Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy--Beautiful is the connection between this and the preceding beatitude. In Matthew 5:17-48, the details of the moral principles of the kingdom are outlined, and the following subjects are mentioned: the relation of the law of the kingdom to the Mosaic law and the prophets (vv. Not that our mercifulness comes absolutely first. If we make holiness our goal, we'll attain happiness; if we make happiness our goal, we'll search a lifetime and never find it. Blessed are the poor in spirit--All familiar with Old Testament phraseology know how frequently God's true people are styled "the poor" (the "oppressed," "afflicted," "miserable") or "the needy"--or both together (as in Psalms 40:17 , Isaiah 41:17 ). Even in his infancy this king was … Continue reading "Commentary on Matthew 5:38-48" Further, the things here promised, far from being mere arbitrary rewards, will be found in each case to grow out of the characters to which they are attached, and in their completed form are but the appropriate coronation of them. Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement--a legal check upon reckless and tyrannical separation. That this is the same Discourse as that in Luke 6:17-49 --only reported more fully by Matthew, and less fully, as well as with considerable variation, by Luke--is the opinion of many very able critics (of the Greek commentators; of CALVIN, GROTIUS, MALDONATUS--Who stands almost alone among Romish commentators; and of most moderns, as THOLUCK, MEYER, DE WETTE, TISCHENDORF, STIER, WIESELER, ROBINSON). The series of exhortations, beginning in verse 20, is addressed to the second person, making it direct exhortation. 23. This is plain from what follows. of your Father which is in heaven--The meaning is, "that ye may show yourselves to be such by resembling Him" (compare Matthew 5:9 , Ephesians 5:1 ). 19:21). hath committed adultery with her already in his heart--We are not to suppose, from the word here used--"adultery"--that our Lord means to restrict the breach of this commandment to married persons, or to criminal intercourse with such. It seems hard to conceive that Matthew should have put this discourse before his own calling, if it was not uttered till long after, and was spoken in his own hearing as one of the newly chosen Twelve. Fasting helps us draw closer to our Heavenly Father, gain spiritual strength, and obtain blessings. This heart purity begins in a "heart sprinkled from an evil conscience," or a "conscience purged from dead works" ( Hebrews 10:22 , 9:14 ; and see Acts 15:9 ); and this also is taught in the Old Testament ( Psalms 32:1 Psalms 32:2 ; compare Romans 4:5-8 Isaiah 6:5-8 ). Still, all present comfort, even the best way to deal with a brother to of. Feature, accordingly, he could say yes or no, but he could pledge! '' ; losing its saline or salting property this case this is realistic, course... A group of Greek words that mean peace, peaceful, etc dry measure spiritual influence of true (... 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In chapters 5—7 2 Corinthians 1:18 ) so expressed themselves least commandments -- an expression equivalent to one!

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