Verses 17-20 are very direct about following the laws set by God and even clarifies that following the least will not make you righteous in the eyes of the Lord. Versus 21-26 go deeper in the subject or murder, and that it not just about not murdering but also notes that anger and hatred are not acceptable. Not committing murder is considered the “least” of following the law and that we need to diligent about following all aspects of the law.
20 “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
It is clear that relying on our own wisdom, and following the interpretations of “Pharisees” and “teachers” is not what will make us right with God. Jesus is telling us that holiness requires more than we imagine. Jesus is telling us that we need to rely on him and his grace. He is very clear that beyond following the letter of the law, we must also be aware about the intent of our hearts. Our intent must always be to rely on Jesus rather than ourselves.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Let us continue to seek your grace so that we can truly understand and follow your laws in our lives. Give us the strength, wisdom and humility so that we can be worthy of your words. Forgive our weakness as we tend to rely on ourselves and not submit to your will. Father, continue to bless us so that we can truly follow your Word and abide by your Word.
In Jesus Name, AMEN!