Just a shorter note today, but could be a bit of a hard hit. Seems I’ve been in the Sermon on the Mount a lot lately. In Matthew 5:17 Jesus says he didn’t come to abolish The Law, but to fulfill it. Paul teaches in Galatians that The Law was a tutor designed to lead us to Jesus. The instructions of the Law then are purposeful. Jesus talks early in the sermon about our need to be “salty illumination”. That is we are to be flavorful and preserving in our lifestyle, and that people should see truth and life in the way we live. “You are the salt of the earth … You are the Light of the earth… a city on a hill“
You might think, “I’m not much of a preacher” or “I don’t have a position” or “I’m nobody, just a tiny light.” But a Tiny Light in a very dark place is still seen to point the way. A small city situated on a hill is still visible. A little salt in a very bland meal is appreciated. The Law wasn’t sent to bind, but to free us. It was not to cause death and judgment, but to give light and direction, to show we need God, and turn us away from Judgment and into LIFE. Jesus says in v17, I didn’t come to abolish… but to fulfill… then “whoever does and teaches these commands will be GREAT in the Kingdom”. The Purpose of The Law was to show how estranged we are from God. It’s always then about Reconciliation. That is our hope, that is our message, Reconciliation. v23 then is telling us, if you are in your spiritual activity, worshiping, confessing, praising, and there realize that you are out of relationship with your brother or sister…
- Leave Your Gift There – worship is great, needed, but relationships are what matters. Jesus left heaven because WE were OUT of relationship with God. Jesus became ONE OF us, so that we could become one with God. How many times are you unwilling to go TO someone, become LIKE someone? That is often the only way to restore relationship.
- First Go – that word, hypago – is in the present, active, imperative tense – that word means lead, get, go, go their way, lead on slowly, go back, get back – If we are down the road, but down the road without our brother or sister… we should have stayed and gotten right – if not then get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged – That’s what some preachers used to sing – and they weren’t even preaching JESUS> come on somebody – First Go
- Be Reconciled – well you can’t be reconciled if you are down the road alone! Go their way, go back (present active imperative) Do it, you Must, do it, YOU do it, NOW – It is critical, it is urgent, it doesn’t happen by accident, so be intentional, purposeful. I read about that word, diallassomai – dia = to transition and allasso = to change one’s feelings toward – so, Be Reconciled, transition and change your feelings toward -whether one person is at fault, or both are at fault – Be Reconciled
- With – This is NOT about getting over the hurt, or forgetting it, or even passively forgiving them and moving on – NO – This is about restoring the relationship. That means there WAS a relationship. This is brother or sister – this is someone you were in relationship with… this isn’t a random person. That has its own issues, and we should be kind, just, loving, but THIS is about RESTORATION of a Relationship.
First Go – Be Reconciled – WITH
- Then Come and Offer Your Gift – Worship is not complete without Spiritual AND Personal Reconciliation in place. Without it, I don’t understand or apply what God has done for me. I cannot come to God and celebrate my perceived reconciliation with him if I am knowingly unreconciled with my brother or sister because then I don’t know what I think I know!
Is there work to be done?