7: Laws of the Kingdom (Mt 5:17-48)
about the character and influence of the citizens of God’s kingdom, the Lord
Jesus continued to expound the laws of the kingdom. In His discourse, the Lord set
a higher moral requirement and pointed His listeners to a new dimension in
observing God’s laws.
“Do not think that I came to
destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill”
Did You Know…?
Raca (5:22): An insulting term of strong personal abuse. 1/1419
May be related to the Aramaic word for “empty” and means “Empty-head!” 8/1446
Certificate of divorce (5:31;
cf. Dt 24:1-4): The Law was supposed
to deter divorce rather than encourage it. It required a “writing of
divorcement”—a public document granting the woman the right to remarry without
civil or religious sanction. Divorce could not be done privately. 4/439
Swear (5:33): The Pharisees
were notorious for their oaths, which were made on the least provocation. Yet
they made allowances for mental reservations within their oaths. If they wanted
to be relieved of oaths they had made by heaven…by earth…by Jerusalem, or by one’s own head, they could
argue that since God Himself had not been involved their oaths were not
Tax collectors (5:46):
Traditionally known as “publicans,” these were local men employed by Roman tax
contractors to collect taxes for them. Because they worked for Rome and often demanded unreasonable
payments, the tax collectors gained a bad reputation and were generally hated
and considered traitors. 8/1447
1.Do you observe a recurring pattern in this section of Jesus’
discourse? Record each of the commands using this pattern.
2.Compare the old and the new requirements of God’s law. What characterizes
the new requirements?
1. What does “the
Law or the Prophets” refer to?
2. How did Jesus
fulfill the law?
3a. What is the righteousness of the Pharisees?
3b. How can we surpass it?
1. Why should we reconcile
with our brother before offering a gift at the altar?
1a. Should we literally gouge out our eyes and cut off our right
hand to avoid sin? Explain your answer.
1b. How can we apply these words to our lives if we have the
tendency to sin?
1a. What do the
words “let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’” mean?
1b. What does this command have to do with swearing?
2. Could we as
Christians swear in a court of law? Why?
1a. What is the
teaching behind verses 39 to 42?
1b. Is Jesus
teaching us to be timid and weak? Explain your answer.
1. Is it possible
to fulfill Jesus’ command, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is