40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 6 – Bible Study

11 Comments

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.  23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:21-24)

Yesterday we saw how intensely committed Jesus is to the Bible.  Today we will consider how Jesus related to standards articulated in the Bible.  As a reminder, our theme for the 40 Days of Discipline this year is: Be like Jesus.  For our Bible study week we are focusing on the mind of Jesus as we explore His thoughts about the Bible.  During the time of Jesus, the Old Testament was the Bible.  Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount provides excellent insights into what He thought about the Bible and also what He thought about how some people interpreted the Bible.

Today’s passage is from Matthew 5 verses 21 – 24 (please see above).  Please prayerfully read and reflect on the passage and answer the questions below.

Today’s Questions:

  1. Based on the passage, how would describe how Jesus related to Biblical standards?
  2. By comparison, how do you relate to Biblical standards?

11 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 6 – Bible Study

  1. Biblical standards are high. Our Lord Jesus Christ lived with it and he expects us to do the same by His grace.we all struggle to keep up each day with the standard and we need to approach the throne of grace with prayers and thanksgiving asking for His continued assistance. Amen

  2. Jesus always carried it up a “notch”. That is, his standards were always higher than what was interpreted in the Bible. What is so amazing is he not only preached the ” new” standards, but more importantly lived them.

    Jesus please help me to love my neighbor as myself.

  3. I really love how Jesus always find a million ways to show and teach absolute obedience. This passage took me to the same Mathew 22:37-40 where he resumes the 10 commandments. No matter if we murder, lie or get angry with our brother… all of them and more have the same effect: Disobedience to our Father´s law by not applying love . Forgiveness and reconciliation on the other hand are two solutions that he proposes on this passage, which is no other but showing Love (God) fruits.

  4. In this passage Jesus doesn’t add anything new to the law just limits and restraints some rights that have previously been abused. He explains clearly how we should behave which would tend more to the perfecting of our obedience to them. I believe with my whole heart that I should be obedient to these biblical laws, but fall short and strive each day to “have the mind of Christ” and so grow closer to being more like Him.

  5. After some thought, I agree with Karen. Its not new. Jesus is teaching us how to have more righteousness than the Pharisees … without which we will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Human anger does not produce the righteousness GOD desires (James 1:20 NIV)

    In the same way I think! Following Biblical standards has helped save me from a proclivity for negative emotions.

  6. As we focus on the mind of Jesus, I am reminded that we are “transformed by the renewing of our minds”.

    As such, we are accountable for what and how we think, rather than simply what we do. And this is what I hear Him saying. It is a question of motives. He is most concerned with our hearts, and even acts of worship or offerings must come from a pure heart. The heart and its motives is the focus.

    This is a truth I have long recognised, but that doesn’t mean I always live by it, and the reminders when I don’t can be quite painful. It can also be a process to discern the heart. I.e. We may casually assume we know our motives, but yet deceive ourselves. We need the Word to discern our thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Heb.4:12)

  7. Jesus’ standard was obviously higher than that of the people around, and even that which was declared in the Old Testament (Bible). For Him, the very thoughts in one’s mind could defile one so reconciling at the altar was crucial before offering one’s gift of prayer.

    I like to clear my accounts with the Lord and others as soon as I am aware of my debts, if any, so I try my best to not even wait until I “reach the altar” to reconcile. I have invisible altars everywhere, just in case! It’s quite sobering to realize that we can sin in our very thoughts so I safeguard my mind with prayer and the Word. David aptly encapsulates the matter thus, ‘Your word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you!” (Psalm 119:11).

  8. What happens when you try to reconcile but are rejected by your sister or brother?
    Is the effort good enough?

    • Great question Yasmin. Someone displaying love and seeking genuine reconciliation with a sister or brother can’t be held accountable for the action of the sister or brother. Whether the effort is good enough would be dependent on the motives of the individual seeking to reconcile. From the passage it is evident that Jesus was more concerned with the heart condition (motive) than following rules. Sometimes the actions of people with the best intentions are rejected. That was the case even for Jesus.

  9. Thanks to all contributors for another great day of commentary!

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