Keeping the Rules (Murder) – Matthew 5:17-26

Is Christianity only about keeping the rules? Is it all about obeying the Ten Commandments? In this session Jesus starts to explain why God gave us the Law and what kind of obedience he wants from us. Jesus takes us through an example “Do not murder” and helps us to understand.

The previous Sermon on the Mount video on “Engaging with the World: Salt and Light” is available here.

In due course this series will replace the existing Sermon on the Mount series.

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Mark 3:1-6 – Learn to read the Bible #10

I’ve just published the tenth part of the Learn to read the Bible series on Mark’s Gospel. This week we are looking at Mark 3:1-6, when Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath.

For those who are coming to this new, the idea behind this series is not for me to simply explain everything to you, but rather to give you things to think about yourself. This is about training you to read the Bible for yourself, rather than just giving you all the answers!

See this page if you’d like a few pointers for how to use these videos. Don’t forget to pray!

You can read the passage online here (although I’d suggest it’s better in a physical Bible). You may also want to have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes and things you want to look into more.

Key points from Mark 3:1-6

  • It begins “Another time” – could Mark be suggesting this is related to the previous passage? They both seem to be about the Sabbath and Law.
  • “Some of them” (the Pharisees? – makes sense if it follows on from the previous passage) were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus. Why do you think they would do this? Do you think some of your friends or family accuse Jesus without giving him a fair hearing?
  • Jesus asked the man to stand in front of everyone – he didn’t heal the man in secret, but did it in public. Almost as if he was looking to confront the Pharisees.
  • Jesus asked “What is Lawful on the Sabbath – to do good or to do evil”. I think this is a really good principle when thinking about God’s laws: as we saw last time, it’s easy to think the Law is a bad thing, or for obeying the Law to become an end in itself. Maybe you could spend some time thinking about the way you think about the law and how we often get this principle wrong.
  • This doesn’t mean we can ignore God’s laws! – but it’s easy to see them in the wrong way.
  • The Pharisees and Herodians end up plotting to kill Jesus – what irony! Killing someone is unlawful, whereas healing on the Sabbath is not. Why do you think they reacted like this? What does this say about our own sinfulness?

Looking for more?

You can see the rest of the videos in this series on the this page. If you’d like a more focussed series teaching the Christian faith, check out the teaching programme.

You might also want to see the previous episode in the series on Mark 2:23-28.

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Mark 2:23-28 – Learn to read the Bible #9

I’ve just published the ninth part of the Learn to read the Bible series on Mark’s Gospel. This week we are looking at Mark 2:23-28, when Jesus is questioned about the Sabbath.

For those who are coming to this new, the idea behind this series is not for me to simply explain everything to you, but rather to give you things to think about yourself. This is about training you to read the Bible for yourself, rather than just giving you all the answers!

See this page if you’d like a few pointers for how to use these videos. Don’t forget to pray!

You can read the passage online here (although I’d suggest it’s better in a physical Bible). You may also want to have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes and things you want to look into more.

Key points from Mark 2:23-28

  • When you read a passage, think about the things which are repeated – it can often be a really helpful clue in getting to the main point.
  • In this passage, “lawful” is repeated a couple of times, and the Pharisees mention one of the Ten Commandments.
  • There are three things to think about:
    1. Eating corn on the Sabbath was not prohibited by the Ten Commandments. Why do you think the Pharisees added this law? Are there any ways we add to God’s laws?
    2. Jesus said that the laws were made for us – God’s laws are for our good. Do you think of the law like that? Do you think of obeying God as a joyful thing?
    3. Jesus said the Son of Man (himself) is lord even of the Sabbath. We are accountable to him at the end of the day. Are we seeking to obey him in everything?

Looking for more?

You can see the rest of the videos in this series on the this page. If you’d like a more focussed series teaching the Christian faith, check out the teaching programme.

You might also want to see the previous episode in the series on Mark 2:18-22.

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Do Christians need to keep the 10 Commandments?

One of the biggest questions people have about the Christian life is about our obedience. Do Christians need to keep the 10 Commandments? Is that what the Christian life is all about?

This is another huge topic, so this video is just a short introduction with a couple of pointers to some more detailed information.

Summary of the video

Here’s a brief summary of the points I make in the video:

  • Do Christians need to keep the 10 commandments? The answer is “It’s complicated” – it’s a bit like yes / no / yes…
  • In Matthew 5:17, Jesus said: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.”
  • Jesus didn’t come to remove any laws but fulfil them. What does that mean?
  • Romans 3:20 says, “through the law we become conscious of our sin”.
  • The Law shines a light on our lives and helps us to see our sin.
  • The reason we need the law in the first place is because there is something wrong with us – we want to do the wrong thing.
  • Romans 8:1-4 says that the law cannot help us with our innate problem with sin – only Jesus can do that.
  • Jesus came to do what the law couldn’t do. He makes us righteous from the inside out.
  • Jesus can help us want to love God and love others – something which we could never do by simply trying to obey the commandments.
  • Jeremiah 31:33 says, “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.” This is a prophecy of what God would do in Jesus.
  • Through Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, God writes his laws on our hearts.
  • Finally, in Matthew 5:21-22 Jesus uses the example of murder. It’s a command most people think they’ve kept. But Jesus shows that none of us have kept even this law perfectly.
  • We need a transformation to love others!

Explore further

You might like to look at the Sermon on the Mount course.

You might also appreciate session 15 of the New City Catechism: What’s the point of the Law (if we can’t keep it)?

Your questions answered

This is the third video for the Your questions answered feature.

If you have a question about Christianity or the Bible, please send them in or comment below.

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