But Jesus Says: This is the New Way

Jesus takes the truths of God’s word and demonstrates a new way to use them—in defense against temptation.

The devil said:
Surely God doesn’t want you to go without. Why not use your power to satisfy yourself?
But Jesus (quoting the Old Testament) says:
Depend on God to supply all your needs (Deuteronomy 8:3).

The devil said:
Surely you want people to see who you really are. Why not do something spectacular?
But Jesus says:
Don’t set up tests to manipulate God. Trust him completely (Deuteronomy 6:16).

The devil said:
I’ll give you the world—power, greatness, fame. Why not just worship me?
But Jesus says:
Worship and serve God alone (Deuteronomy 6:13).

Then he takes the commands of the law and morphs them into a new way to live—reflecting the love of God into the world.

The law said:
Don’t murder (Exodus 20:13).
But Jesus says:
Make friends and be reconciled. Don’t get angry and wish them dead (Matthew 5:22).

The law said:
Don’t commit adultery (Exodus 20:14).
But Jesus says:
Eradicate all signs of lustful imagination (Matthew 5:28).

The law said:
Men can easily divorce their wives for any reason (Deuteronomy 24:1).
But Jesus says:
God has not given you permission to divorce at will. Take your marriage seriously (Matthew 5:32).

The law said:
Don’t break your vows to God but rather fulfill them. (Deuteronomy 23:23)
But Jesus says:
There is no reason to swear by anything if you tell the truth and mean what you say (Matthew 5:34).

The law said:
You have the right to retaliation and revenge (Exodus 21:24).
But Jesus says:
Stop the cycle of evil by reflecting God’s generous love. (Matthew 5:39–42).

The law said:
Love your neighbor and hate your enemy (Leviticus 19:18).
But Jesus says:
Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44)

The law said:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as you love yourself (Matthew 22:38–39).
But Jesus says:
Love one another as I have loved you (John 13:34).

This is the way of the kingdom. This is how we live as followers of Jesus in the new covenant. His Word gives us defensive strategies to resist evil and offensive actions to shine God’s light into the world (Matthew 5:16).

How has scripture helped you to live in the new way of the kingdom?

PRAYER

Jesus, thank you for showing us a new way to live. Thank you that when I am tempted to satisfy my needs in wrong ways, seek glory for myself, or worship anything other than you, your Word brings me back to the truth—worshipping you alone brings me satisfaction and value. Thank you too for showing me how to reflect your love to a hurting world—with love, prayer, integrity, morality, reconciliation. These are hard things to do in the face of evil, but you came to show the way and I will follow you.

One thought on “But Jesus Says: This is the New Way

  1. Pingback: Themes and Takeaways From Matthew’s Gospel | Pondered Treasures

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