As Lord of the Kingdom and Rabbi of God, Jesus not only highlighted the Old Testament truth but broadened and intensified it to reflect the holiness his Kingdom required. While the audience had heard the standards of behavior set by the Law, Christ revealed the heart of what God desires in the commands. The Kingdom of God and its righteousness intensifies the Law and reveals a high standard that none can keep – without Christ’s forgiveness and the Holy Spirit, God’s gift to those who believe.
Murder is almost universally acknowledged to be wrong. It is a basic law of most human societies. Christ, however, addresses not the act but the inner attitudes that eventually end in killing someone. It is not enough to simply refrain from killing; Christ seeks to change our hearts so that we see other people with his eyes of love and compassion.
Lord Jesus, cleanse us, not only of violent acts, but of hatred, vitriol, and rage toward those you love and for whom you gave your life.
From one point of view, worship in the Old Testament is an attitude of homage or adoration to God as a great king. It could be expressed in silence or by a simple gesture. It could be indicated by that gesture in association with praise or the offering of sacrifices. In the final analysis, it is the attitude of the heart that really matters. Such responses were made spontaneously, in recognition of some new disclosure of God’s character and will, or in the course of some regular pattern of ritual activity.
~ David G. Peterson, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992. pp. 72-73.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Jesus Fulfills the Law, Matthew 5.13-20
Peterson, Engaging with God
Our Corporate Disciplines
Solitude and Silence: Monday, February 13, 2023
Book Discussion: Tuesday, February 14, 2023