only help my unbelief

“You have heard that it was said”
October 6, 2008, 7:00 am
Filed under: Posts

A couple weeks ago I started using this Bible reading plan. So far I’m only on my third read-through of Matthew, because I haven’t read more than 10 chapters or so in one sitting, and most of the time it’s only a few chapters. And because I am a sinner and I lack self-discipline, some days I don’t read at all. It’s not the plan that’s not effective; it’s my own heart.

Yesterday I was reading through Matthew 5 and was struck by how often Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said…” and then proceeds to add on to commandments from the Mosaic law. I started thinking about all the people who talk about Jesus and how He came to teach us how to love others. That’s true, but most of the time when people say that, I think they really just mean that we should do nice things. Like give some of our money to charity or buy a homeless person lunch once a lifetime.

Jesus didn’t come to tell us what we don’t have to do anymore. He came to teach us that we can’t be legalistic about the commandments, because if we are, we’ll fall even further into sin. It’s fairly easy to gauge whether you’ve committed adultery in your marriage if the only standard is sleeping with someone else. But when the commandment reaches into your heart, adultery suddenly becomes much easier to commit.

Sometimes I wonder how people who think they know who Jesus is can keep on thinking that when the Bible is so clear. I know that God has to give us eyes to see and ears to hear, but it seems like they are seeing so much of what the Bible says but are just choosing to ignore it.

I suppose I’m guilty of that myself, though.


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