Sunday 2nd August – The Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:38-42

Excite

John Stott says this of Sunday and next Sundays passages:

The two final antithesis bring us to the highest point of the sermon on the mount, for which it is most admired and most resented, mainly the attitude of total love which Christ calls us to show towards one who is evil (39) and our enemies (44). Nowhere is the challenge of the sermon greater.
Nowhere is the distinctness of the Christian culture more obvious.
Nowhere is our need for the power of the Holy Spirit, who’s first fruit is love, more compelling.

As you read through the passage what do you think about Stott’s statement?

Sunday 19 July – The Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:27-32

Engage

In these verses 27 – 32 we see the Old Testament ways being expanded by Christ. Jesus is not being anti-marriage, quite the reverse, but what is interesting is no-one is attributed to raising the topic with Him beforehand, yet was there a reason for Him saying what he did?

His discourse is one, in these short verses, that brings a clear, unambiguous path which could prevent individuals from entering Heaven. While the consequences are clear so too is the remedy. Read the passage and decide how effective, and what response, do you believe Christ’s message might have had from His audience? 

Purity in action and thought, faithfulness in living a monogamous lifestyle and inherent respect for others, particularly your life-long partner, will bring blessing.

Christ does not condone Adultery or Divorce yet openly acknowledges that they happen, but states that they are not part of God’s plan for mankind.

Extend

What does marriage actually mean in today’s society, is it relevant, real or necessary? What would Jesus say?

If you were being led to speak out, today, in the UK, about a topic that would grieve the Lord, what would it be?

Few of us I am sure would want to start to ridicule any audience we were talking to without knowing their background and beliefs. Do you believe Christ was speaking to His audience with a particular reason in mind?

Are there areas in your life, thoughts, or behaviours that you would want to change having studied Matthew 5 Vs 27 – 32? If the answer is yes what will you do about it and who would you go to for help?