The Teachings of Jesus - Matthew's Perspective
by Wayne Childress 11/19/2013 / Bible Studies
In my review of the teachings of Jesus - from John's perspective - the focus was on love and obedience, on continuing to love God by remaining obedient. John is not a part of the Synoptic Gospels because his wording is so different; however, as we shall see, Jesus' teachings - from Matthew's perspective - still mirrors those teachings found in John. From Matthew's perspective Jesus tells us that love is the most important thing we can do:
Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Matthew's perspective also includes Jesus citing a direct link between love and obedience. For example:
And because iniquity shall multiply the love of many shall be cooling. Yet the one enduring to the finish, this one shall be being saved.
Once again we see that when we juxtapose disobedience and love we find that as one is increased the other decreases. We also see Jesus pointing out how important it is to continue in love and obedience - to endure. The word translated as endure is "hupomenō". Strong defines this as: to stay under, remain; bear trials, have fortitude, persevere, abide, endure, take patiently, suffer. Thayer defines it as: to remain, abide, not recede or flee, to preserve: under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one's faith in Christ, to endure, bear bravely and calmly: ill treatments. Notice how this concept of remaining and abiding parallels John's perspective of the teachings of Jesus.
Matthew shows us that Jesus often focused on love:
Yet I am saying to you, love your enemies, blessing the ones cursing you, doing good to the ones hating you, and praying for the ones using you and persecuting you; that you may be becoming children of your Father which is in heaven: the Sun is rising on the evil and on the good and raining on the just and on the unjust. For if you are loving them which are loving you, what reward are you having, do not even the publicans the same?
Honoring your father and mother and loving your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew also shows that Jesus also often focused on obedience:
Not every one saying to me, Lord, Lord, shall be entering into the kingdom of heavens; but the one doing the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many shall be declaring to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesied in your name and in your name cast out devils and in your name do many wonderful works? And then I shall be openly declaring to them, I never knew you: depart from me, the ones negating the law. Then whoever is hearing these sayings of mine and is doing them, I shall liken him to a wise man who built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and fell on the house; and it fell not: for it was founded on the rock.
The Son of man shall be sending forth his angels, and they shall be cutting out of his kingdom all things that offend, and those who negate the law; and they shall be casting them into the furnace of the fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous shall be shining forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who has ears to hear, let him hear.
And so you outwardly are appearing righteous to men, yet inside you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Jesus emphasized the importance of love and obedience so strongly that we see it reflected in both John's and Matthew's perspectives.
The word translated in the verses above as iniquity is "anomia". Strong defines it as: illegality, that is, violation of law or wickedness, iniquity, transgression of the law, unrighteousness. Thayer defines it as: the condition of without law, because ignorant of it or because of violating it, contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness. The Concordant Greek Text Sublinear for ScrTR Ultra Literal English in the ISA defines it as "un-lawness". In others words it is not mere lawlessness it is negating the law.
The next time you hear someone saying the commandments are done away with remember the verses above and what Jesus says about those who negate the law. Jesus also said:
You should not be inferring that I am come to demolish the law or the prophets. I came not to demolish but to fulfill. For amen I am saying to you, til heaven and earth pass, not one iota or one tittle shall pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
The Heaven and Earth that Jesus spoke of are still here and so is the law! Jesus also said:
For whatever you are willing that men should be doing to you, you too should be doing to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
If you read this verse - Matthew 7:12 - with Matthew 22:39 above, you find that Matthew has Jesus tying love together with obedience - just as John did. Obedience and love go hand in hand in all of Jesus' teachings. If you are disregarding the law because your "church" says it is obsolete then you are not listening to Jesus!
Yet answering he said to them, Because of what? You are transgressing the commandment of God thru your tradition too?
Matthew's perspective on the teachings of Jesus shows very clearly that our love for God is directly tied to our obedience to God. This matches that of John's perspective of Jesus' teachings. Both Matthew and John personally knew Jesus and were His chosen disciples and Apostles - Paul was not, no pope ever was, Joseph Smith was not. Neither I, nor any man living today, is qualified to supersede the teachings of Jesus. Our love for God is tied to obedience: our love for our fellow man is tied to works. Matthew shows us that Jesus taught the importance of works:
But I am saying to you that you resist not evil: but whosoever shall slap you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue you at the law and take away your shirt, let him have your coat too. And whosoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two. Give to him that asks you and from him that would borrow of you do not him away.
Many of the same "churches" that teach the law is obsolete also teach that works are optional. Jesus says otherwise.
And casting the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Then shall he say also to them on the left hand, depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was hungry and you gave me nothing. I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger and you took me not in: naked and you clothed me not: sick and in prison and you visited me not.
Then shall he answer them, saying, verily I am saying to you, inasmuch as you did not to one of the least of these, you did not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Too many so called "Christians" act as if "Christianity" is like small pox. They got it once as a child so it is in them for life even if it doesn't show. Small pox may be once infected always infected; but, the love of God is not a disease! Once saved, always saved is a lie! God requires, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." Do it and you will live, fake it and you will depart!