The Much Mores

As Jesus was teaching His disciples the Beatitudes during His Sermon on the Mount, telling them they were the salt of the earth and the light of the world and to guard against losing their saltiness or hiding their light under a bushel, He told them, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” It was then He gave them the much mores of following Christ (Matthew 5).

Jesus began, Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:” (Exodus 20:13) …But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.”

He then tells them, Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14) …“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Jesus continues, It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:” (Deuteronomy 24:1) …”But I say unto you, That whosever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery.”

He tells His disciples, “Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:” (Leviticus 19:12) … But I say unto you, Swear not at all… But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”

Jesus continues to instruct them, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:” (Exodus 21:24) …”But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man… take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”

And finally Jesus tells them, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, (Leviticus 19:18) and hate thine enemy.” (Deuteronomy 23:3-6)  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

“For I say unto you,

That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees,

Ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:20

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