As we continue studying Christ's commands in the New Testament, I thought we would do well to review the key points of Matthew chapter 5, and tie them together with the principles of the chapter we will be studying now. Matthew 4:1-11, Matt 4, Mt 4, Matt #5, Mt #5. An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth--that is, whatever penalty was regarded as a proper equivalent for these. As for the words, they seem directly fetched from Psalms 18:25 , "With the merciful Thou wilt show Thyself merciful." On the contrary, none of these beatitudes is more manifestly dug out of the rich mine of the Old Testament. 1. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. Through verse 10, these are addressed as “they,” in contrast to “ye” in verses 11-12. Accordingly, he could say yes or no, but he could not pledge beyond this. The Same Subject Illustrated from the Seventh Commandment ( Matthew 5:27-32 ). 5 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. that is, wherein do ye excel? It will be observed that as the principle on which we are to "agree" with this "Adversary" is not here specified, and the precise nature of the retribution that is to light upon the despisers of this warning is not to be gathered from the mere use of the word "prison"; so, the remedilessness of the punishment is not in so many words expressed, and still less is its actual cessation taught. 19. Hence Christians are warily styled "the salt of the earth"--with reference to the masses of mankind with whom they are expected to mix; but "the light of the world"--with reference to the vast and variegated surface which feels its fructifying and gladdening radiance. The exercise of mercy (ἔλεος, active pity) tends to elicit mercy from others—God and men. We have here the converse of the preceding lessons. Paul, however, claimed his rights as a Roman citizen when falsely accused. 17. He waits with his gift at the rails which separate the place where he stands from the court of the priests, into which his offering will presently be taken, there to be slain by the priest, and by him presented upon the altar of sacrifice." A careful reading of what Christ said makes it obvious, however, that the principles of the kingdom are far more than merely rules for a future millennium. But during the discourse, apparently many others joined the crowd, as there is reference to “the people” in Matthew 7:28, which would imply a large crowd. He pointed out that even the world, with its tax collectors, rewards those that reward them and greets those that greet them. 5. As the son of David (1:1-17), Jesus meets powerful foes in the beginning of this Gospel. While others "walk in a vain show"--"in a shadow," "an image"--in an unreal world, taking a false view of themselves and all around them--the poor in spirit are rich in the knowledge of their real case. Read Matthew 4:1–2and look for what the Savior did as preparation for His ministry. Blessed--Of the two words which our translators render "blessed," the one here used points more to what is inward, and so might be rendered "happy," in a lofty sense; while the other denotes rather what comes to us from without (as Matthew 25:34 ). But so narrow was the circle of them that a man might swear, says LIGHTFOOT, a hundred thousand times and yet not be guilty of vain swearing. In the parable of the unmerciful debtor, the servant to whom his lord forgave ten thousand talents was naturally expected to exercise the small measure of the same compassion required for forgiving his fellow servant's debt of a hundred pence; and it is only when, instead of this, he relentlessly imprisoned him till he should pay it up, that his lord's indignation was roused, and he who was designed for a vessel of mercy is treated as a vessel of wrath ( Matthew 18:23-35 ; and see Matthew 5:23 Matthew 5:24 , 6:15 , 2:13 ). But the full and beatific vision of God is reserved for that time to which the Psalmist stretches his views--"As for me, I shall behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness" ( Psalms 17:15 ). But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her--with the intent to do so, as the same expression is used in Matthew 6:1 ; or, with the full consent of his will, to feed thereby his unholy desires. 23. Q. The "judgment," as already explained, was the lowest of these; the "council," or "Sanhedrim,"which sat at Jerusalem--was the highest; while the word used for "hell-fire" contains an allusion to the "valley of the son of Hinnom" ( Joshua 18:16 ). Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled--"shall be saturated." 45. John F. Walvoord, long-time president of Dallas Theological Seminary, was one of the most prominent evangelical scholars of his generation. Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement--a legal check upon reckless and tyrannical separation. This self-emptying conviction, that "before God we are void of everything," lies at the foundation of all spiritual excellence, according to the teaching of Scripture. This rejection in turn led to the second major discourse in Matthew 13 on the mysteries of the kingdom, or the age intervening between the first and second advents of Christ. Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself--These are not the precise words of Exodus 20:7 ; but they express all that it was currently understood to condemn, namely, false swearing ( Leviticus 19:12 , &c.). Exposition of Principles ( Matthew 5:17-20 ). Observe, again, that the language in which these Beatitudes are couched is purposely fetched from the Old Testament, to show that the new kingdom is but the old in a new form; while the characters described are but the varied forms of that spirituality which was the essence of real religion all along, but had well-nigh disappeared under corrupt teaching. 33. This law of retribution--designed to take vengeance out of the hands of private persons, and commit it to the magistrate--was abused in the opposite way to the commandments of the Decalogue. Lk 6:20-49). bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you--The best commentary on these matchless counsels is the bright example of Him who gave them. 8. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy--Beautiful is the connection between this and the preceding beatitude. Matthew 5:38–42. 7. 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