MATTHEW 6:7_as the heathen do…
Jesus goes from reproaching hypocrites to reproaching heathens. The word heathen in this verse can be translated as Gentile. Remember, Gentiles are not Jews. They were not under the covenant God made with Abraham. Nor were they under the laws God gave to Moses.
The Jews considered the prayers of Gentiles to be great babblings. Since Gentiles did not serve or have a relationship with the One True God, their prayers were not directed to Him. Therefore, to whatever god or idol they prayed, all they could offer was empty babbles.
After Jesus conquered death and was about to ascend back into heaven, He gave His disciples a commission. Mark 16:15 (KJV), “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Jesus gave Peter and Paul a specific commission – to share the gospel of the resurrected Jesus with the Gentiles. Praise God Peter and Paul obeyed the call!
We are no longer heathen just because we are Gentiles. Those of us who answer the call to become salty-lit-up disciples can enter our closet, shut the door, and commune with the Holy God of Heaven! Hallelujah!
Lord Jesus, Praise You for being the God of all mankind. Praise You for making a way for Gentiles to enter Your presence . In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ loves Gentiles—He made a way for me!
MATTHEW 6:2_Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.
A synagogue is a gathering or assembling of people for Jewish religious practices. This particular verse refers to the building where the crowd gathers.
Jesus says hypocrites make certain they sound their trumpets in the synagogues. If they give the largest financial contribution, they want it known! In some synagogues, the best seat in the house was reserved for the largest giver. It was known to the entire gathering why that particular person sat in that particular seat.
Jesus said synagogues weren’t enough for the hypocrites – they also sound their trumpets in the streets. Streets are public places where anyone is allowed. Streets are not exclusive to Jews or Gentiles (although some may be preferences of a certain group). Streets are a much larger and broader way to be sure your charitable deeds are known.
Charitable deeds and contributions are good things. Whenever you can – be generous in deeds and money.
Be careful of self-glory. It is always a snare.
Dear Heavenly Father, Please give me a generous heart and show me how to use it. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is generous and kind—He will teach me to be!
MATTHEW 5:21_Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time…
Jesus begins a series of principles to shed understanding on His fulfillment of the Law. He shares something which up until this sermon only Jesus could do – balance judgment and mercy. Now it is time to teach His salty-lit-up disciples how it’s done!
What was said by them of old time was the Law. The Old Testament covenant God made with Abraham and the laws he gave to Moses (the Ten Commandments, etc.). This was the standard the Hebrews lived by – their rules and regulations. This is how they worshiped, how they gave themselves to being Jews – God’s chosen people.
We Gentiles had no chance for the kingdom life because we were not chosen. Neither did we have the laws to teach us how to worship, serve, and know God. What was said by them of old time was for the Jews alone.
If that was enough, there was no need for a New Testament covenant (and Gentiles would be in a heap of trouble!). Jesus now becomes salt and light for the Old Testament.
If the Scribes and Pharisees have had trouble relating to Jesus before – watch out. They are about to throw a fit!
Father of All, Thank You for teaching me an understanding of balance. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ teaches balance—He helps me understand!