Jesus has taught many virtues that Christians should follow in their daily lives. In Matthew 5:21-24, the key message of Jesus in these four verses is that people’s inner motives, emotions, and feelings are as significant as their external actions. For eg, Jesus equalizes murder by harboring rage toward other humans. Like the Jews, most Christians also reflect on their external conduct but struggle to determine the motivations and thoughts of their souls. Jesus challenges Christians to look deeper.
What sort of relevance does this teaching have for other worldviews?
Some of the worldviews about anger are that holding on to it can bring satisfaction. However, from the point of view of this teaching, holding on to anger does not bring happiness, but leads to regrettable and wicked actions. While it might feel good for a time to hold on anger, at the end it will cause more harm than help the person. In verse 21, Jesus emphasizes that anyone who commits murder is subject to judgment. Most countries follow this verse by arresting, bringing to court, and prosecuting those who commit murder or even abuse others as a result of anger. Many states also allow settling of disputes through reconciliation. In verse 23, Jesus asks those angered by others to reconcile first before making their sacrifice. The verse also reflects another worldview in that many other religions require their believers to have faith and give their mind and heart to that god. As such, the teachings in this verse are relevant to many worldviews.
What does this teaching reveal about Jesus?
These verses reveal that Jesus loved peace. As such, His mission was about making peace between people and God. Indeed, no surprise that He is concerned with us being peace makers as well. From Jesus’ perspective, there is no room for hatred or hanger in a Christ-centered relationship. Jesus was a peace model. As Christ-followers, we should model Christ’s peace to others.
Identify at least one claim that Jesus made about His nature and/or the purpose of His ministry (such as in Mark 2:1-12, Matt 9:9-13, Luke 7:18-23, John 5:16-18, John 10:25-38, or John 14:5-11). Underline the passage chosen. What is the significance of this claim?
In Mark 2:1-12, Jesus said to a sick man “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” The man woke up, took his mat and walk out as all people witnessed. This miracle amazed everyone in the crowd and they phrased God. These verses present Jesus as not only willing, but also eager to forgive. In other words, the passage portrays Jesus as by nature kind, merciful, loving, and looks forward to saving sinners from God’s wrath. The passage also reveals Jesus as the son of God who has the power to heal and forgive sins. Jews did not believe Jesus as the son of God thus they were not happy when Jesus claimed to be the son of God. In other words, many Jews as it is with some of us today did not understand whether or not that Jesus was the son of God. Teachers of law were also not happy because they wondered how a mere man could forgive sins, something which only God has the power and authority to do. As such, the forgiving and healing power of Jesus in these verses show the nature of Jesus as the son of the most powerful God. The verses are significant to Christians because they mean that anyone who believes in Jesus’ can be forgiven and will rise after death to eternal life.
How would you personally answer Jesus’ question, “But who do you say that I am?” Describe your own beliefs about Jesus.
Like many other Christians, I would say that Jesus is human. The New Testament teaches us that Jesus was a real man born in Bethlehem. Matt. 2:1 says that “Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea.” In other words, He was born like any other child and grew up in a typical environment thus proving He is human. The New Testament further affirms that Jesus was “born of a woman” (Gal. 4:4). These Bible verses show Jesus’ humanity. Jesus also had other features of a human such as being tired and hungry in John 4:6 and Matt. 4:2 respectively. He also died a physical death like people die today. Mark 15:37 says “and with a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last…” Therefore, Jesus died like any other person thus showing He was human.
Like many other people who Jesus asked who they thought He was, I would also say that Jesus is the Messiah. The word Messiah means the anointed one. As such, Jesus was the anointed one. From the point of view of Hebrew prophets, a Messiah is a king from David’s line who will rescue Israel from oppressors among other things. Although Jews did not believe that Jesus fulfilled these prophecies, like other Christians, I believe that He did. There are also various occasions where Jesus or other people affirmed that Jesus is the Messiah. For example, after Andrew met Jesus, he ran to tell Peter that he had met the Messiah. Similarly, in a conversation with Jesus, a Samaritan woman said she knew that the Messiah was coming and Jesus replied to her that “I who speak to you am he” (John 4:25-26).
Finally, I believe that Jesus is God’s son. The New Testament uses the “Son of God” to refer to Jesus. Although Jesus did not refer to Himself as the Son of God, the term is used in various gospels such as Romans 1:4 and Hebrews 4:14 to refer to him. The Gospel of John just calls Jesus “the son” which might have a similar meaning. Therefore, I believe that Jesus is the son of God.