The Gospel lesson for this week from Matthew 5:21-37 is part of what we know as the Sermon on the Mount. Both Luke and Matthew have sections where the teaching of Jesus is all together. In this passage we find Jesus addressing anger, adultery, divorce and slander. As I read over the lesson, I recalled something that a man said to me a while back. I was with a group of men and we were talking about our role as spiritual leaders. Rob shared with us an insight that he was trying to live by. He said that he had realized that he needed to remove from his life anything that he did not want to be reproduced in the lives of his children.
We know what we need to do, how we need to live. Doing it is another matter. As followers of Jesus, we live in community with other disciples. The things that we do and say make a difference to those we have relationships with. It is impossible for our actions and words to not affect others close to us.
In this passage, Jesus deals with four areas of living that affect our relationships with each other. It seems to me that it all comes back to love. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus said we are to love God with all our being. He then went on to say that we are also to love each other the same way. When we live our lives together with love, we are imitating the life of Christ. This is something we cannot do on our own. But with the work of the Holy Spirit in us we can and will be transformed so that we can love each other in ways that affirm and encourage each other.
Lord Jesus, continue to mold and shape us into your image. Amen.
Always, to God be the glory!