Compass: A Different Way of Living
Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Last week, we began walking through some specific points in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount which He wanted the hearer to understand. Today we continue to look at some areas of life where Jesus wanted to give clarity to the hearer. These are areas where people often struggle so Jesus wanted us to know what God says about these things.
1. The value of marriage
Vss 31-32 Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
A. Throughout Hebrew history (the Old Testament), there were differing views of divorce which flowed from a hierarchal system of men being more important than women
B. Debates continued in the first century between religious leaders over what situations could lead to a “lawful” divorce
C. Jesus made God’s intention clear: One Man, One Woman, One Lifetime
D. But Jesus also made clear God’s forgiveness transcends man’s failures
2. The value of truth
Vss 33-37 Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
A. This was not a declaration against curse words or even promises
B. Jesus was demanding integrity in all situations, not just ones where serious promises are made
3. The value of restraint
Vss 38-42 You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
A. The Law had created a system where equal or greater revenge was allowed and even necessary
B. Jesus now creates a system where the offended shows mercy to the offender
4. The value of love
Vss 43-48 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
A. In Old Testament days, enemies were hated and people sought to destroy them
B. Jesus now commands that we love our enemies
C. This was the precursor, and a requirement, for the Great Commission
1. Recognize challenges within your marriage are not an opportunity to walk out, they are opportunities to dig in
2. Being known as a man or woman of your word is far more valuable than taking the easy way out
3. In conflict, look for paths to reconciliation, not highways to revenge
4. Loving others will give you greater joy than you could ever imagine