Saturday, November 5, 2011

Living in Harmony with Others

As Jesus continues to teach from the Mountain (sermon on the Mount), He declares He came to fulfil the law and the prophets (verse 17). Matthew 7:12 states, "... whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them—this is the Law and the Prophets." The phrase "the law and the prophets" speaks to the entire Old Testament according to Luke 16:16, “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then, the good news of the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, ..." Jesus is speaking about the great truths and principles, moral and spiritual, of the Old Testament revelation, in which not one part of it shall be dimished - it shall stand forever. Jesus' supreme authority expressed here is compared to the words of the Master, "I am the Lord your God."

Jesus warned that we got to do better than the Pharisees and scribes to enter the kingdom of heaven. One might ask what did the Pharisees and scribes do? Jesus criticized them because of their inconsistent practice of faith that impeded the faith of those for whom they had responsibilitity (Matthew 23). Our duty is to teach and keep all His commandments and in the spirit of God; we can not pick and chose. Whoever conforms to the revealed will of God living a righteous life "shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5.19)." This will be the result only, if we have the right relationship with God.

In verse 21, Jesus used several examples from the law Moses spoke to teach the disciples and the crowd before Him. There is more to "Thou shall not kill" than having the physical blood on one's hand. Words are hurtfull. If we are harboring angry or ill feelings, from the slightest to the most envenomed, against our brother or sister, we need to go to him/her with a heart ready to make things right. If these matters are not taken care-of, there will be judgement at the divine tribunal. Our God is a heart-searching God. He knows our heart.

To show the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation Jesus says, if thou bring gift to the altar, and there remembers thy brother holds something against you, leave your offering and seek forgiveness immediately. One must take action with the other person; you can not just put the feeling out of your mind. This should remind us of the times we sin against God and seek His divine forgiveness. Remember, if we expect to be forgiven by our Father in Heaven, we must forgive. Matthew 6:12 states, And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. The lesson today speaks of an earthy situation between man and man, now, think of the relationship between you and God and reconciliation with Him.

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