Sabbath: Christ and the Law in the Sermon on the Mount

Read for This Week’s Study: Matt. 5:17-20, Luke 16:16, Matt. 5:21-32, Rom. 7:24, Matt. 5:33-37, 5:38-48.gless04-2014b

Memory Text: Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot, or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled (Matthew 5:17-18, NKJV).

When most people think about the Sermon on the Mount, they automatically think the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:1-12). However, the Sermon on the Mount actually covers three chapters that have been divided into four sections. The Beatitudes comprise only the first section. In the second Jesus compares Christians to light and salt (Matt. 5:13-16). The third, Matthew 5:17-48, is where Jesus gives us a new and deeper perspective on the law. And then there is the final and longest section, Matthew 6:1-7:23, in which Jesus provides clear teaching on Christian behavior. The whole talk ends with the parable of the wise and foolish builders (Matt. 7:24-27), which stresses the importance of obedience to what God calls us to do.

This week we will investigate the third section, Matthew 5:17-48 (which theologians call the antitheses, cases in which sharp contrasts are presented), to see what it teaches us about the law.

*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, April 26.

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