36 God seeks righteous behavior that is more than the Law required.

Exodus 20:7, 13–14; Leviticus 19:12; Numbers 30:2; Deuteronomy 5:17–18; 24:1–4; Matthew 5:17–37

What was the purpose of the Law (Matthew 5:17)?

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What would have to happen before there would be no need for laws (Matthew 5:18)?

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If God’s Law does not agree with man’s law, what should we do (Matthew 5:19)?

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How could people be expected to be more righteous than the Pharisees and teachers of the Law (Matthew 5:20)?

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If people weren’t keeping the Law, how could they be expected to keep an even higher standard (Matthew 5:21– 22)?

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How is holding a grudge disruptive to effective prayer (Matthew 5:23–24)?

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How important is settling debts outside of court (Matthew 5:25–26)?

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Why might a lustful look be as big a problem as committing adultery (Matthew 5:27–28)?

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How do we exercise control over our desires (Matthew 5:29–30)?

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Why did Jesus say divorce was a problem (Matthew 5:31–32)?

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Why is swearing to tell the truth self-defeating (Matthew 5:33–37)?

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Why do you think it was important for Jesus to point out the shortcomings of the Law?

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Do not think I am here to abolish the Law or the words of the prophets. I came to fulfill their purpose. The truth is, until the skies above and the earth below disappear, the smallest letter or the least meaningful pen stroke will not go away until its purpose is achieved.

Eyewitness

Matthew 5:17–18 “Do not think I am here to abolish the Law or the words of the prophets. I came to fulfill their purpose. The truth is, until the skies above and the earth below disappear, the smallest letter or the least meaningful pen stroke will not go away until its purpose is achieved.
King James

Matthew 5:17–18 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

“Anyone who regards one of the commandments as unimportant and leads others to agree is the lowest of the lowly. But those who obey God’s Law set an example for others and will rank high in the Kingdom of Heaven. I am telling you, unless your righteousness is greater than the righteousness of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, there is no way you will enter the Kingdom.

Eyewitness

Matthew 5:19–20 “Anyone who regards one of the commandments as unimportant and leads others to agree is the lowest of the lowly. But those who obey God’s Law set an example for others and will rank high in the Kingdom of Heaven. I am telling you, unless your righteousness is greater than the righteousness of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, there is no way you will enter the Kingdom.
King James

Matthew 5:19–20 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 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.

“Since ancient times, you have heard it said, ‘Do not commit murder,’ and, ‘A murderer must be brought to trial.’ But I tell you, anyone who is angry with his brother will stand trial. For slander, someone may be brought to court, but anyone who calls another person stupid is in danger of Hell’s fire. So if you are praying at the altar and remember a grudge against another person, leave your offering and seek reconciliation. Then come and offer your gift.

Eyewitness

Exodus 20:13 Never murder anyone.
Deuteronomy 5:17 Never murder anyone.
Matthew 5:21–24 “Since ancient times, you have heard it said, ‘Do not commit murder,’ and, ‘A murderer must be brought to trial.’ But I tell you, anyone who is angry with his brother will stand trial. For slander, someone may be brought to court, but anyone who calls another person stupid is in danger of Hell’s fire. So if you are praying at the altar and remember a grudge against another person, leave your offering and seek reconciliation. Then come and offer your gift.
King James

Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.
Deuteronomy 5:17 Thou shalt not kill.
Matthew 5:21–24 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

“When you are headed for court, settle your obligations quickly, or your accuser may take you to the judge, who will tell the officer to throw you into prison. If that happens, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny owed.

Eyewitness

Matthew 5:25–26 “When you are headed for court, settle your obligations quickly, or your accuser may take you to the judge, who will tell the officer to throw you into prison. If that happens, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny owed.
King James

Matthew 5:25–26 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

“You have heard it said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say that people with a lustful look have already committed adultery in their hearts.

Eyewitness

Exodus 20:14 Never commit adultery.
Deuteronomy 5:18 Never commit adultery.
Matthew 5:27–28 “You have heard it said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say that people with a lustful look have already committed adultery in their hearts.
King James

Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Deuteronomy 5:18 Neither shalt thou commit adultery.
Matthew 5:27–28 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

“If your right eye leads you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one eye than to have your whole body thrown into Hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, it would be better to cut off your hand than to have your whole body go to Hell.

Eyewitness

Matthew 5:29–30 “If your right eye leads you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one eye than to have your whole body thrown into Hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, it would be better to cut off your hand than to have your whole body go to Hell.
King James

Matthew 5:29–30 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

“You have been taught that a man who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce. But I say that anyone who divorces his wife, except for being unfaithful, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Eyewitness

Deuteronomy 24:1–4 When a man marries a woman who displeases him because he has found some shame in her, let him write a bill of divorcement, hand it to her, and send her away from his house. After she has gone, she is free to marry another man. And if the new husband dies or rejects her, writes a bill of divorce, hands it to her, and sends her away from his house, her former husband is not allowed to marry her because she has been defiled. This would be detestable in God’s eyes.
Matthew 5:31–32 “You have been taught that a man who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce. But I say that anyone who divorces his wife, except for being unfaithful, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
King James

Deuteronomy 24:1–4 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
Matthew 5:31–32 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

“For ages, you have heard it said, ‘Do not swear falsely, but keep the vows you make to God.’ I say you should not swear at all, not by Heaven because it is God’s throne, not by Earth because it is his footstool, and not by Jerusalem because it is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your head, because you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply mean what you say, your ‘yes’ meaning ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ meaning ‘no.’ Anything more is of the devil.”

Eyewitness

Exodus 20:7 Never use the name of the Lord frivolously or to suit your self-serving purpose, for God will judge the guilt of those who use his name in false declarations.
Leviticus 19:12 Do not make promises in my name that you do not intend to keep, dishonoring the Lord your God.
Numbers 30:2 If a man makes a vow to the Lord or swears that he will do something, he must keep his word, doing exactly what he said.
Matthew 5:33–37 “For ages, you have heard it said, ‘Do not swear falsely, but keep the vows you make to God.’ I say you should not swear at all, not by Heaven because it is God’s throne, not by Earth because it is his footstool, and not by Jerusalem because it is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your head, because you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply mean what you say, your ‘yes’ meaning ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ meaning ‘no.’ Anything more is of the devil.”
King James

Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Leviticus 19:12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
Numbers 30:2 If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.
Matthew 5:33–37 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.