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7: Laws of the Kingdom (Mt 5:17-4809)
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7: Laws of the Kingdom (Mt 5:17-48)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

Having talked 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.

B.     Key Verse

            “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (5:17).

C.     Did You Know…?

1.       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

2.       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

3.       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 binding. 12/31

4.       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

II.    Observation

A.     Outline









B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. General Analysis

1.       1.Do you observe a recurring pattern in this section of Jesus’ discourse? Record each of the commands using this pattern.

2.       2.Compare the old and the new requirements of God’s law. What characterizes the new requirements?

IV.  Segment Analysis

A.     5:17-20

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?

B.     5:21-26

1. Why should we reconcile with our brother before offering a gift at the altar?

C.     5:27-30

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?

D.     5:33-37

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?

E.     5:38-42

1a. What is the teaching behind verses 39 to 42?

1b. Is Jesus teaching us to be timid and weak? Explain your answer.

F.      5:43-48

1. Is it possible to fulfill Jesus’ command, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect”?

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