Sermon on the Mount | Anger: Part 1

In the last two verses we’ve studied in Matthew 5, Jesus taught us that we have to have a righteousness that exceeds that of the Pharisees and the Scribes. Using Paul (a Pharisee turned Christian), we demonstrated sin is so good at “seizing the opportunity” that the law provides that it can make us covet morality and make our ability to keep it be our confidence that God accepts it. But in reality that is no righteousness at all. It puffs up the self in a heap of self-righteousness that takes us straight to hell.

So yes, we need a righteousness that exceeds the Pharisees, because the righteousness of the Pharisees is no righteousness at all.

Now, if you don’t believe that yet, has Jesus got a series of passages for you. 😉

We are about to endeavor on a journey of the heart. Jesus is going to demonstrate through a series of relationally-oriented teachings just how profoundly unrighteous we are, and just how incapable the law is of transforming us. The intent is to drive home the point that we can’t read the Law and the Prophets and covet after them, but must read the Law and the Prophets which are about Jesus and long for Him.

The intent is for us to understand in full what Jesus said directly to the Pharisees in John 5:39-40, right after He healed a man on the Sabbath: 39 You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, and yet they testify about me. 40 But you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life.

But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing practical to DO with the Scriptures. Remember, we love the Law and the prophets! We are going to DO and TEACH them and be great in the kingdom of heaven. And Jesus is going to make this very practical for us in a way that makes much of Him and is consistent with the Beatitude life. 

21 “You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, Do not murder, and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. 22 But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Whoever insults his brother or sister, will be subject to the court. Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to hellfire., 23 So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Reach a settlement quickly with your adversary while you’re on the way with him to the court, or your adversary will hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid the last penny. (Matthew 5:21-26)

We’ll explore this passage more in the following posts. 


Rob Tims

Rob is Teaching Pastor at Blackman Baptist Church.