You Have Heard That It Was Said, But I Say

This meditation is based on a passage for April 30, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 2 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Matthew 5:27-37

Reflection and Question: In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus contrasts tradition with His deeper and wider view of the Law. Jimmy Carter may have had this passage in mind when he admitted that he lusted for women in his heart. In each example Jesus requires a more stringent practice than what His listeners “have heard,” and His position is clear: “if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.” We have resigned ourselves to falling far short of Jesus’ teachings here. Do you let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no?” Why or why not?

Prayer: Jesus, You are the Lawgiver, bringing the Law to vibrant life. We confess it is too much for us; we cannot attain it. When our right eye sins, we will not throw it away because we don’t know how. Guide us patiently to understanding, we pray. Amen.