Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Daily - 6/10/09

Matthew 5:20-26

20 I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

21 "You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.'

22 But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, 'Raqa,' will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.

23 Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you,

24 leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

25 Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.

26 Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.

There is a lot of misunderstanding in the world about the role of "the law" for Christians. In this passage, we see Christ's teaching on the Ten Commandments. He is clear that our righteousness must go beyond that of the scribes and pharisees. On one hand, that's a tough order. But remember that as Christians, Christ dwells inside of us, and HE fulfilled the law perfectly. So if we have Christ inside of us, we have his righteousness, which allows us to fulfill the law as well.

Warning - a lot of people out there in the world take this to mean that because Christ "did it", we don't have to try. Look closely at what Christ says about that, and then look below to what "the Dust" says. See what you think.

From Catena Aurea, compiled by Thomas Aquinas. For more, Click Here .

Hilary: Beautiful entrance He here makes to a teaching beyond the works of the Law, declaring to the Apostles that they should have no admission to the kingdom of heaven without a righteousness beyond that of Pharisees.

Chrysostom: By righteousness is here meant universal virtue. But observe the superior power of grace, in that He requires of His disciples who were yet uninstructed to be better than those who were masters unto the Old Testament. Thus He does not call the Scribes and Pharisees unrighteous, but speaks of “their righteousness.” And see how ever herein He confirms the Old Testament that He compares it with the New, for the greater and the less are always of the same kind.

Augustine (City of God, book 20, ch. 9): Otherwise, “unless your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees,” that is, exceed that of those who break what themselves teach, as it is elsewhere said of them, “They say, and do not;” [Matt 23:3] just as if He had said, Unless your righteousness exceed in this way that ye do what ye teach, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.