beyond the standards
Read through Matthew 5:1-12 to see what Jesus is calling His followers to live out.
What are your initial responses to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5? What challenges you the most in this teaching?
In 1957, a remarkable story written by Colonel William Draper appeared in Look magazine. The article was published under the title: “I Fly the President.” Colonel Draper said that worry was his business and US President Eisenhower’s safety was his reward. To achieve that safety, 33 specialists were responsible for the Columbine III aircraft prior to, during, and after a flight. If oil was leaking, the crew checked it ten times rather than the standard two times. People often asked Draper what it was like to have the President’s life in his hands. “I think it demands a special dedication. Aeronautical standards are not enough to satisfy those who fly the President,” he replied.
When it comes to following Jesus, just adhering to the standard isn’t enough either. He wants His followers to go beyond the standard stuff. After saying that He had come to uphold the law (Matthew 5:17), Jesus used six portions of the law to teach vital truths. In each example, He quoted a passage, and then He used common teaching methods to explain what it fully meant.
With each passage, Jesus established His authority and called His followers to a greater righteousness that went beyond that of the Pharisees. He wasn’t contradicting the law, but was simply correcting wrong interpretations of it. He could do this because His authority was greater.
As followers of Jesus, He’s calling us to go beyond the standard in dealing with anger. We do this by seeking complete reconciliation (Matthew 5:21-26), dealing with lust and adultery by not using our senses to incite abnormal and forbidden desires (Matthew 5:27-30), dealing with marriage and divorce by committing to the sacredness and seriousness of marriage (Matthew 5:31-32), dealing with oaths by being truthful even when it hurts (Matthew 5:33-37), and dealing with our enemies by covering them with showers of grace and love (Matthew 5:38-48).
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Job 1:1-22
2 Responses to “beyond the standards”
leave a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.