In this portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reinterprets the Law for his hearers. He challenges his followers to go deeper than what we read at the surface. Unlike many of those who were listening and, frankly, many of us, he goes beyond memorizing scripture. He doesn’t pull out just the right verse when he needs it as a weapon. Instead, he understands that God’s laws are about how we relate to one another, about those who use religion to victimize and oppress, and about the importance of being honest and trustworthy.
Are we meant to take these passages literally? Can we take them seriously without taking them literally? What would taking these teachings seriously look like in your life?
In prayer, consider how you might better live out the ideals of Jesus’ teaching.