Tag Archives: disciples

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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The Ten Who Ran

As the events of Christ’s crucifixion unfold in Scripture we are left to wonder what happened to the ten disciples who ran from the Garden of Gethsemane upon His arrest. Peter followed afar off for some time but then he too vanished until Resurrection morning. Max Lucado in his book, “No Wonder They Call Him The Savior,” gives his thoughts as to how they all in their grief and shame eventually found their way back to the Upper Room. He writes,

“From all sections of the city they appeared. Too convicted to go home, yet too confused to go on. Each with a desperate hope that it had all been a nightmare or a cruel joke…

“It certainly was an awkward position in which to be. Caught on that uneven ground between failure and forgiveness. Suspended somewhere between “I can’t believe I did it” and “I’ll never do it again.” Too ashamed to ask for forgiveness, yet too loyal to give up. Too guilty to be counted in, but too faithful to be counted out.

“I guess we’ve all been there. I dare say that all of us have witnessed our sandcastle promises swept away by the pounding waves of panic and insecurity. I imagine that all of us have seen our words of promise and obedience ripped into ribbons by the chainsaw of fear and fright. And I haven’t met a person yet who hasn’t done the very thing he swore he would never do. We’ve all walked the streets of Jerusalem.”

In Mark16:7 we read of the angel of the Lord speaking to the women who had come early to the tomb and found Jesus gone, “But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that He goes before you into Galilee: there shall ye see Him, as He said unto you.” The ten who had run, especially including the one who had denied Him thrice whom the angel named specifically, were being summoned by the Savior. Remember how Peter could not wait for the boat to reach the shore of Galilee, jumping in to swim the distance that separated him from Jesus preparing breakfast on the beach? Peter knew forgiveness awaited him and the other disciples the moment he saw Jesus.

No wonder they called Him Savior!