The Sermon on the Mount: pt 10, The Sum of the Law

by Steve Reynolds  /  Matthew 5:48  /  April 3, 2016

Authority is hard for us as humans. We don’t always enjoy obeying someone. From an early age, whether we realize it or not, we are taught to question authority (especially in the 21st century); we hate it when mom or dad tells us to do something, and their reasoning is, “Because I am your parent!” When I was in fourth grade, some classmates and I decided we wanted to have a school dance, but our school had never held one. So we began gathering support in amongst our peers, we did a campaign around school and even formed a petition; we did this for what seemed to be two weeks (although it was more likely closer to two afternoons) before finally appearing before our principal to issue our formal request. We chose a student with political clout (her mom was on the PTA) to state our case, and we all waited anxiously for three minutes after the presentation before the principal gave us a straight-forward, “No”, and a rebuke for forming a petition behind her back. We were outraged: how could she do this? What authority did she have? Didn’t she know we had one mother from the PTA on our side? It was my first realization that authority isn’t always fun to submit to; I didn’t understand the issues of safety, chaperons, financing, or the awkward nature of a 4th grade dance that went into her decision to deny us. Authority is a hard thing to submit to. And, often, as a pastor, I come across this attitude towards God (and even show it myself sometimes): why does God give me so many rules? Why can’t I do this? Why am I suffering? Doesn’t he understand? All of us think these things, and you may be here thinking that this morning; in today’s text, we see a requirement from God: perfection. And I pray from this sermon that you will see that God’s Law is based on his holiness and grace which is only fulfilled in Jesus Christ.