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Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart. I have come to fulfil the law. Whoever is angry will be judged. I say, love your enemies."
Posted on 26 Feb 2013 to 27,058 followers, with
Read Matthew 5 in full.
This is the first of three chapters of the Sermon on the Mount - probably the greatest teaching in human history. No small challenge for the discerning summariser!
I've obviously had to leave out a lot today, including such incontestably famous quotes as "you are the salt of the earth", "let your yes be yes", "an eye for en eye" and "go the extra mile".
I tried to emphasise what I think is one of the key themes of the sermon in my summary: that kingdom living is about your heart.
I'm struck again both by the beauty of Jesus' teaching and also by the incredible claim to authority that he makes in repeatedly redefining and expanding on the law of Moses.
This is probably the most egregiously misdirected summary of Matthew 5. How is "do not become angry or you will be judged" a better synopsis than "love your enemies?" Wow. Taken out of context like this that phrase makes it look like all anger, including God's anger is sinful.
Hi Liz, to some extent I sympathise. "Love your enemies" is definitely at the heart of this teaching (and that's where I finish the summary). But there's no getting around "everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement" before you get there (v22).
I don't read judgement as necessarily equating to sinfulness. I'm sure that plenty of anger will be judged to have been legitimate (to say nothing of God's anger). But the passage is saying that we will have to give an account for our anger.
I chose that phrase for the summary partly because the section about anger is proportionally significant, and also because it well represents the shift to the heart that Jesus makes.
I realise it's a very challenging sentence, but it's a very challenging sermon and I was determined not to put a more comfortable gloss on it.
All that said, I'm certainly not claiming that I've posted the perfect summary and I appreciate your perspective. I completely agree that to summarise is to lose context which risks misinterpretation.
As always, I encourage readers to go to the full text for themselves!