When I was in third grade I learned a very hard lesson. The second grade class put on a play for the entire school and at the end of it, while everyone was applauding, a friend of mine and I decided to be cute and boo! We were spotted by our teacher and sent to the principal's office. I do not recall what my friend did, but I know what I did: I denied booing. I refused to admit it. The principal, a friend of the family, sent home a letter explaining the situation to my parents, and I denied it to them! The pressure increased the next day with another visit to the principal's office, and finally I was willing to confess and apologize to the second grade class that had put on the play. It was a very hard lesson. Not only did I learn the importance of always telling the truth, but also to tell the truth when I have hurt someone, to listen to my conscience and make right any offense as soon as possible.
This week we will take a look at a very relevant portion of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:21-26. Read that text a couple of times and then use the questions help you meditate on these words from our Savior.
1. Consider the context of Matthew 5:17-20 and then 5:27-28, 31-32, etc. What is Jesus saying about the Law and the Prophets? Is He a new Law Giver or is He adding new meaning to the Law or is He correcting misinterpretations of the Law? What do you think?
2. What is the commandment Jesus references in verses 21and 22 and what does He do with it?
3. What is Jesus' command in verses 23 and 24?
4. What principle would you draw from verses 23-24?
5. What is the connection between verses 21-22 and 23-24?
6. Look up the verses listed below. What do they add to your understanding of Jesus' teaching here?
- I John 1:5-10
- James 5:16
- Proverbs 14:9 (NIV)
- Proverbs 28:13
- Acts 24:16
- Romans 12:18
- Romans 13:8-10
- What did you learn?
7. Why is it so hard to say, "I'm sorry; I was wrong. Please forgive me."?
8. Is there anyone who has something against you with whom you need to seek reconciliation?
God be with you and see you on Sunday!