Sunday: February 16, 2020
Reference text: Matthew 5:17-37
Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Normally, when one desires to become good at something, they are advised to ‘learn from the very best’. So in terms of following the law in its entirety, the Pharisees and scribes would have been the perfect examples to learn from because these guys knew the law inside out. Yet, Jesus was not very keen to recommend their example to be followed. He even dared to present it as the bare minimum.
Yes, exactly that! Those strict observers of the law were judged to be doing the minimum required because for anyone seeking the Kingdom, more was demanded. This is the new order: the scales have been altered and the standard of measure has been upgraded. Therefore, doing just the minimum is no longer enough. Jesus brought perfection, and that has now become the standard.
Beloved, if observing the law was the minimum, then what is the extra required to tip the scales towards the maximum? To this, Jesus presents what has been relegated to the sidelines in favour of just fulfilling the law ‘to give ourselves in service, first entirely to God and to others; Love for God and for neighbour’.
We might have been thinking that fulfilling the law would be enough, but now we ought to realise that is just the minimum.