Contrasting aspects in Mathew 5: 20-48
Mathew 5: 20-48 is one of the key sections that introduce the Jesus Sermon on the Mount. In this chapter, Jesus said “it has already been said in the old time and I also say unto you”. This states that Jesus is correcting Pharisees and scribes false interpretations and hence providing the exact meaning that is indicated in the law of the Old Testament. There are two important aspects that are reflected in this chapter, that is
• There are cases where Jesus says, “You have already heard and has also been said”. This indicates that he quotes the statement from the law of the Old Testament
• There is also another case where he says “i am saying to you”, means that he is telling ...view middle of the document...
Hate your enemies and love your neighbour is also another contrasting part. In Leviticus chapter 19: 18 states that you love your enemies and some other parts of the Old Testament like Deut 23:3-4 and psalms 26:5 states that you hate your enemies.
This means that there is a contrasting aspect between the old and New Testament law. Jesus said “I say into you” which is a statement that provides a clear explanation that it was also taught in the Old Testament. Mathew 5. 20-48 it explains the New Testament but also creates a contrast with the Old Testament. In John 1: 17 states that the law was provided by Moses but truth and grace were brought by Jesus. But does this statement state that there was no truth and grace in the Old Testament? This is also seen in the contrasting ideas of marriage and divorce between the old and the New Testament. Additionally the difference that is brought in swearing as indicated in the Mathew versus the Old Testament law show that Jesus was educating on both the New Testament and the Old Testament but on a stricter approach. The difference between the two laws is that the New Testament law in Mathew 20 is presented in a stricter approach more than the law found in the Old Testament (Benno 24).
According to my own opinion it would be easier to obey the new system since Jesus was only explaining the exact meaning of the Old Testament law. It is only that the New Testament provides stricter laws as compared to the Old Testament law. The verse clearly quotes that our righteousness is supposed to exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees and the scribes so as we can enter the kingdom of God.
Benno Phillip. Righteousness in Matthew and his world of thought. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press. 2004.