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The Gospel of Matthew (Part 2), The Origins of Christianity, Dr. Kyle Harper (2014)


Now, the first block of Matthew, the
first block of teaching in Matthew is chapters 5 through 7, the Sermon on the Mount. Okay, I want you just to- can you blazen that in your head? Can you blazen that one in your
memory as well? What is it? The Sermon on the Mount. Matthew chapters 5 through 7.
Matthew doesn’t save the best for last. Here is the most centrally influential book of moral teaching in all of history.
And let’s look at how it unravels, the careful way in which Matthew
structures it. It begins with the Beatitudes. Beatitudes, can you say Beatitudes? Let’s all say
Beatitudes. That was so weak. Ready, one, two, three, Beatitudes, from the Latin beatus, what does beatus mean?
Tyrus, what is a beatitude? Okay, what is a beatitude, who knows? It’s what? A thing of beauty, good answer, wrong. What was that? A blessing, a statement of
blessing. Beatus means blessed in Latin, somebody who is blessed, and there are ten
Beatitudes. Blessed are the meek. It’s a praise of humility. In a world that prized and celebrated earthly success, greatness and courage in war, power, wealth, prosperity, and success in life, Jesus begins his moral preaching
by saying blessed are the meek. Alright, this is stunning in this world, blessed are those
have been beat down. Blessed are those who are poor in spirit. Alright, so he begins this passage of moral
teaching by calling into question the most basic
values of the world around you. Jesus is the teacher of the Torah, of
the law and Jesus will interpret the Torah, and in 5:17 through 20 comes one of the most important statements
about Jesus’s relation to the law and Jesus’s moral teaching in Matthew. Who has it, pulled up, you got it? 5:17. Okay, good, so Jesus came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it. What does that mean, fulfill it? It’s, it’s quite deep. Came not to abolish but to fulfill and not one letter, or
one-stroke of a letter what does the King James say? It’s much better. Not one jot or tittle will pass. Not one tiny little dot of an i of the law, will go away but that it is fulfilled. He then explains what this means and he offers what he considers a righteousness that exceeds
even that of the scribes and the Pharisees, even that of those who interpret the law
most literally and strictly. And he does this in what we can know as the six antitheses.
On your hand out, the six antithesis. What’s an antithesis? Okay, it’s somehow a contrasting
statement. There’s a thesis. What’s the opposite of a thesis? Antithesis, are you afraid of the word antithesis? Do we need to say it? 1, 2, 3 antithesis…. Now you’ll remember it. These are the antitheses. Thou shalt not commit murder. Have you heard that before? Where is that? It’s in the Ten Commandments. Right, which is like in the law, it’s like in the central part of the law, and
like in the most important part of the law the Ten Commandment. Okay, so it doesn’t start with some obscure one of the 613 rules. He starts right at the pinnacle. You have heard it said thou shalt not commit murder. So that’s the
law. Jesus doesn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. You’ve heard it said, but I say unto you, whoever even gets angry at his brother is already guilty of murder. Sam, can I ask you a personal
question? Is it easy not to murder people? On most days, right? You can just get through
the whole day without murdering anybody, right? Pretty easy, you can do it? Is it easy not to get angry at people? No it’s very hard, isn’t it? I mean, isn’t it hard not to get angry people? It’s very hard isn’t it? Oh people, they’re so
stupid. They just make me so angry. Walking over
here in the rain there are people walking on the left
side of the sidewalk, is this England? For crying out loud, walk on the right side the side of the sidewalk, this is America! What is wrong with you? I get so angry just walking from Gould
Hall over here. People are stupid and it’s very easy to
get angry at them, but you’ve committed murder in your heart.
Think about how rich that is. It is much harder, if you’re not, if you’re never angry, will you ever
commit murder? No, you lack the motive, you lack the
internal disposition, ever to violate this law. And so in this deeper fulfillment is the
final revelation that Jesus teaches.

Jean Kelley

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