Matthew 5.17-32

Meat On The Bones

“You've got to understand that the Law and the Prophets were the bones, the skeleton of God’s design. I’ve come to put meat on the bones, bring flesh and blood to God’s grand dream. But the bones are necessary. I wouldn’t be me without them.

“So don’t think you’re something if you move beyond God’s Law. You’ll end up very, very surprised. That’s the opposite but equal mistake the religious hypocrites make, thinking it’s all one thing. No, it’s both. God’s Law and me. I'm warning you. Miss the two and you can kiss any Kingdom dreams goodbye. Trust me.



“The bones of old went like this: Do not murder. But I’m going to flesh that out by saying that being angry with anyone can be the same as plunging the knife in. Did you hear that? It can be the same. Just like letting the contempt in your heart find its way to your mouth so that you call a man worthless or tell a woman you’ll-never-amount-to-anything. That rhyme from childhood - sticks and stones? It's true. But words do hurt; in fact, they cut to the very heart of the matter. Trust me.

“So here’s the deal, this is how serious I am about this. Let's say you're the minister of a church. Some Sunday morning you're preaching away and God brings to mind a friend who’s at odds with you. I want you to close your Bible, forget what somebody might think, and walk out of the building. Go, right then, to that friend and do all you can to right the wrong. It's possible that this kind of response-able living can keep you out of court or even jail. If you’re not willing to do something that radical, then all the praise choruses or donations to the poor don’t mean squat. Trust me.


“Another old bone goes like this: Do not commit adultery. Until now, that meant sleeping with someone else's wife or husband. I say that fantasizing about another man’s wife or another wife's man in your head is the same thing as having sex with her or him in your bed. You’re committing adultery of the heart. The act between the sheets all begins in the space between your ears. It may sound crazy, but I’m saying it’s the same thing.

“Lust begins with a look. So if living pure of heart means poking your eye out, I say do it. I’d rather you be one-eyed and pure than two-eyed and perverted. And the same thing goes for your hand. If its always getting you into trouble, then I say cut it off. I’m serious; don't think I'm being overly metaphorical here. God can do wonders with one-handed men. Trust me.

“The Law bones also said: If you’ll fill out the proper paperwork, you can get rid of your wife and move on to the next woman. Listen closely. I say unless she’s sleeping around, don’t even think about divorcing her. If you divorce her and she remarries, you’re causing her to commit adultery. Yes, I said you. You’re also making the one she remarries an adulterer. Yes, I said you. And if you should marry a divorced woman, then you’re an adulterer. Sounds completely crazy, doesn't it? For too long, marriage has been treated as merely a legal matter, vows spoken before someone official. It’s not. It’s sewing two souls together before the eyes of God. Trust me.

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