July 17, 2018

“You Have Heard … And I Say” (Matthew 5)

Category: Bible - NT - Matthew :: Permalink

It’s amazing how much some commentators read into Jesus’ words in Matthew 5.

Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said to the ancients…” and then he quotes word for word from Scripture: “You shall not murder” and “You shall not commit adultery.

“Oh,” say the commentators, “he’s rejecting the Pharisees’ view. The Pharisees thought that only the actual acts of murder and adultery were condemned, but it was okay to be angry and hate people and lust and so on.”

Well, maybe they did. But we don’t know it from what Jesus says. Jesus doesn’t address their misinterpretations. He doesn’t mention misinterpretations. In fact, he doesn’t address interpretations here. He simply quotes what God said in the Law — what the disciples and the crowds had heard in the synagogues, what God had said to their fathers at Mount Sinai and through Moses just before they entered the land — and then he puts his own word alongside: “And I [emphatic] say to you…”

Who does he think he is to put his word alongside that of God’s Word? No wonder the crowds went away marveling, not just at what he said, but at his authority.

Posted by John Barach @ 5:27 am | Discuss (0)

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