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Showing posts from February, 2017

The Extra Mile

Matthew 5:38-48
February 19, 2017
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
Christina Berry

We continue this week with a part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. We heard last week the first part of a series of teachings in which Jesus begins by referring to a familiar truth from scripture, and then adds an interpretation which deepens the truth of that belief. Matthew’s gospel, you’ll recall, puts special emphasis on connecting the work of Jesus to the work of Moses. So, again, Jesus quotes Mosaic law and the customs of the times, then expands them in new ways. Let’s listen as Jesus fulfills the law with his teachings in Matthew 5:38-48.

[Jesus said] ‘You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to ever…

The Three Rs (Repentance, Restoration, Reconciliation)

Matthew 5:21-37
February 12, 2017
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
Christina Berry

We continue this week in the gospel of Matthew, rejoining the crowds who came to listen to Jesus as he preached what is known as the Sermon on the Mount. The sermon began with the Beatitudes. Jesus then told his listeners that they were to be salt and light. He continued his teaching with the caution to them “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets.” Jesus came, he said, to fulfill the law and the prophets - to make them complete. But the writer of Matthew’s gospel wants to make sure that the readers will connect Jesus to his Jewish forebears, particularly to Moses. Like Moses, Jesus’ birth was announced by an angel. Like Moses, Jesus was pursued by a murderous king. Like Moses, Jesus came out of Egypt. Like Moses, Jesus passed through waters. Like Moses, Jesus was tested in the wilderness. Like Moses, Jesus climbed up to the top of a mountain to receive and deliver the word …