Saturday, January 5, 2013

Come As You Are, Fear Not ***

S. Matthew 5: 1-26

O. One of the first accounts of Jesus teaching his disciples. This is an entire teaching without interruption by those in attendance. This is the first portion of this particular teaching.

A. Jesus espouses a list of people and what these people do or are doing and how the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. To me, this seems as if Jesus is saying be yourself, come as you are, that is all you need to do. To those who are able to do more, do so without regard for your immediate situation, or immediate retribution. God blesses you in the midst of persecution.

Then, Jesus goes deeper about persecution. He implores us to be happy about persecution as there is a “great reward” in heaven for those who are persecuted. We are a “light of the world”, and a light shouldn’t be hidden, it should be raised, to light as much of the world as possible.  Our good deeds are a light.

He then wants to re-emphasize that he is not here to abolish the old ways, but to clear the path to the Kingdom of Heaven, perhaps by cleansing us of our sins. We can embrace the role of the persecuted by spreading our light farther and to the most people possible.

The next statement I think is curious.
“But I warn you – unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!”
I think this is actually about not ever being righteous. No one could be as righteous as the very people that will crucify Jesus or do harm to others. Righteousness is not something that we should strive to achieve. Those that are righteous think they know better, when they are actually the persecutors of the light.

The next sets of statements are very intense.
“You have heard that our ancestors were told, “You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment. But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment.”
It is not just the act of murder that is so wrong, it is all the mental and emotional steps we take internally before we get to the actual act of murder that are not to be taken. Being angry with someone is as if we are murdering that someone.

We may not even speak or act on this anger, but this anger is the same as the act of murder. We may even speak of and to others negatively, calling them names, even cursing them to hell. This is also to be avoided. The thoughts, the feelings, the words are equal to the act of murder.

We should go to those that we have wronged, or that have wronged us and reconcile. This is our sacrifice: letting go of past wrongs, ours and others.

P. May I be honest with my experience. May I come as I am into every situation. May I not fear persecution. May I stop the anger, stop the words, stop the actions against all others.

No comments:

Post a Comment