The Demands of Discipleship

Sunday, February 16
Matthew 5:21-37

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Jesus cuts no corners on the absolute demands of integrity. The law, however strictly maintained in outer details, will not make one just or worthy of the Kingdom. Jesus “raises the bar” on life—beyond words, to actions fed by grace.

Only by grace can we steer away from the demands of the flesh in anger or lust. Anger is destructive of relationships, unless released in prayer and action on behalf of those treated unjustly. As for lustful feelings, flirtatious or inappropriate behavior toward another in a sacred relationship damages holy expressions of love.

Take Jesus literally here. Why not? Why wiggle around looking for exceptions to these exalted ideals of living? Let us examine ourselves carefully, repent, and be open to all the joys Jesus is teaching you.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
Anger released in silence v. 22
First reconciled, then my gift v. 24
Blessed are the pure in heart. v. 28; 5:8
My word, “Yes, Yes” or No, No” v. 37

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This is the Seventh Week in Epiphany, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.
Year A is dedicated to the Gospel of Luke.

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