April 13

Written by Bill Grandi on April 13th, 2020

I took last week off. No, I don’t mean from work. I don’t mean from my Quiet Time. I diverted my attention from where I had been reading about the life of Jesus to read about the last week of His life. It started with His ride into Jerusalem and culminated (not ended) with His resurrection. So this morning I was back where I left off. The Sermon on the Mount (SoM).

One of the most compelling passages in the teachings of Jesus and a standout in the SoM is the section that starts in 5:21 and goes until 5:48. I say compelling because it is here where Jesus lays out His approach. Let me explain. Each teaching begins with “You have heard” and follows up with “But I say to you.” Here you go:

  • 5:21- “You have heard you shall not murder…But I say to you…”
  • 5:27- “You have heard you shall not commit adultery…But I say to you…”
  • 5:31- “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces…But I say to you…”
  • 5:33- “You have heard you shall not swear falsely…But I say to you…”
  • 5:38- “You have heard an eye for an eye…But I say to you…”
  • 5:43- “You have heard to love your neighbor and hate your enemy…But I say to you…”

The point I see is Jesus was always taking it one step further. Whereas the Law taught “this;” Jesus taught “this.” His teaching was always counter to what had been taught in regards to limits. The Law required such-and-such but Jesus’  idea was to go beyond the letter of the Law and check the motive and the heart.

I believe He still expects the same today. We could live our lives in such a way that we keep the letter of the Law but miss the boat. We could possibly never see the love behind our actions, actions born out of a desire to follow  Him with His kind of heart. 

“Father, help me to see that life is more than keeping the Law. Love goes beyond the letter to the heart of it all.”


5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    Jesus took the law which was very mechanical and turned it into relational.

  2. Love does go beyond the letter of the law to something much greater and grander, Bill. Thanks for this inspiration today!

  3. Ed says:

    I love the “Buts” of Jesus…
    The law certainly has it’s place, but is so much followed by grace!