In the third section of the “sermon on the mount” Jesus raises the bar on righteousness and gets to the heart of the matter at the same time. In this lesson, small group leaders will learn key concepts to teach when studying Matthew 5:21-48, Luke 6:27-30, 32-36 (section 54e in the Harmony of the Gospels)
Jesus begins this lesson, with a powerful phrase “you have heard it said… but I tell you…”. Make no mistake about it Jesus is asserting his authority in this teaching as much as he did when grating forgiveness and healing on the Sabbath. As stated earlier he is raising the bar on what it means to be righteous and why. As articulated in today’s broadcast, it will challenge our way of being and our actions together.
While there are by the count of most, 613 laws in the Old Testament to govern Jewish behavior, there was a teaching that emerged by the disciples of Hillel – The Golden Rule. One such presentation of the lesson goes like this:
It happened again that a certain student came before Shammai and said to him: “I will become a proselyte providing you teach me the whole Torah while I’m standing on one foot.” At that moment Shammai knocked him down with the builder’s rule in his hand. The young man then came before Hillel, who made him a proselyte. He told him: –“What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary. Go, learn it!” – Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 31a
An external resource for “restorative justice” that we promised to share with you today was created from the restorative work being done New Zealand and South Africa. “I think it offers disciples today a framework by which we can reshape our mindsets concerning healthy relationships, justice, forgiveness, restoration, and world peace.” says Greg Troxell, founder of Harmony Bible.