Monday, February 27, 2017

Person or small group Study Matthew 5:38-48 Our attitude toward others



For the next few weeks (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), I am going to present a small class Bible study looking over Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. 

Study

QUESTION: Can you be perfect?

This is a trick question because how do you define perfect. A perfect apple tree is an apple tree that produces good apples. It is perfect because it is doing what God created it to do. Jesus wants us to be like God not in his eternal aspects but in how we live our lives. Today we are going to look at how God treats people and how we need to.

READ: Matthew 38-48
“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

There is a lot in these scriptures however the point we are going to look at is why does Jesus ask us to live this way.

QUESTION: Why should we not demand justice, why give the soldier more than the law demanded, why give to someone who might not pay us back, and more than that, why be kind and love someone who hates you?

Two answers we want to highlight as for why God wants us to live this way is:
1. Jesus wants to change our enemies into our family.  If you are trying to make someone part of your team you treat them nice but God wants to do more. Do you think you could win someone over if you said, “I hate you, would you like to be part of my family?” No you win them with love.
2. Jesus wants us to become like him and he loves those that do not love him.  Paul said it this way in Romans 5:8 “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” and we need to do the same.

Most Biblical teachers do not believe Jesus calls you to give your enemy the power to destroy you, but all agree Jesus is calling his followers to a way of living that looks at others as he does potential family members.

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