2-5-17 Super Law Matthew 5
“The Super-Law” Mt. 5:13-20; Ps 119:105 2-5-17 https://youtu.be/ggUgKYTD3RY
There are football bowl games- then there is the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl does not abolish all the other bowls- but it is the culmination of them all. There is the Law, then there is the Super Law that Jesus gave. If we obey Christ’s super law- we become Christ’s super people.
There are those who say that Jesus came to get rid of all the rules- but they are wrong. He said, that He did not come to abolish the Law. He said that not the smallest letter nor the least stroke of a pen will disappear until heaven and earth disappear and everything has been fulfilled. Not a jot not a tittle- not the dot of an I or the cross of a t will vanish. The moral law is still applicable. The Ten commandments are still applicable. He then goes on to give specifics. He didn’t come to say murder is no longer a rule- but He is saying that anger in your heart is moral murder. He didn’t come to say that adultery is a passé but that if we have our heart set on lust all the time we are committing adultery in our heart. Jesus is concerned not just about obeying the exterior of the law, but the heart of the law. The law of Christ is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself- on these two things hang all the law and the prophets . All the Old Testament Laws could be placed under one of two categories: Loving God or loving neighbor. Christ fulfilled the law. Beloved let us love one another for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. In some ways Christ’s Law supersedes the other laws. The word “supersede” originated from two words “super” meaning above and “sede” meaning sit. Christ’s law doesn’t just supplant the old laws, it was always there- sitting above them.
Jesus is not asking us just to exist and survive. He is asking us to thrive. Christians add a purpose and meaning to life that no one else can add. We are called to be above the fray and above the decay. We are called to be super-people. We are not just to exist and be comfortable. We are not called to waste our lives. Jesus said it like this- You are the salt of the earth- you are the light of the world. Peter put it like this- you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood.
Francis Shaefffer was a Presbyterian minister in Switzerland. He once said “With God there are no little people and there are no little places.” God made us for a purpose and placed us in a specific place with a purpose. You go nowhere by accident. There is something only you can do with only the gifts God has given you. Moses said, “How can I speak to Pharaoh- no one will listen to me.” But God used Moses. Jeremiah said, “How can I speak up- I am just young person?” But God used Jeremiah. Isaiah said, “How can I speak- I am a sinner- I am not perfect.” But God used Isaiah. Peter said, “How can I be used of God- I am a fisherman who denied Jesus?” Paul said, “What right do I have to speak? I persecuted Christians.” No one has the right or gifts to be used by God in a super way. But God can use us in super ways in a hidden space.
The word “Uber” is a German word meaning “over/across/super.” We are called to help people across- over- to help them get above their problems and the world. Friedrich Nietzsche tried to talk about being an “Ubermensche” or superman of the earth- trying to have it all together on the inside when all the world is falling apart. But if you read his work it is utterly confusing and I believe he failed to make his case. You cannot be over the world and yet concentrate only on this earth and world. Jesus does not call us to be lords of the earth- He calls us to be in the world but not of it. He calls us to love when the world calls us to revenge. He calls us to sacrifice when the world calls us to take all we can for ourselves. He calls us to be super people- who can love with His power. Hal David and Burt Bachrach wrote one of my fav songs- “What the world needs now is love sweet love- it’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”
You are the salt of the earth. John Stott said we should not be surprised that the world decays like rotten fish or meat. The salt Jesus was talking about probably came from the Dead Sea- big white rocks. The salt inside the white rock was the most soluble component, and easily could wash out leaving just a white powder. If the salt is washed out- the powder is useless- just trash. If we as Christians are indistinguishable from non-Christians, we are useless as a witness. It is really hard to get that witness back if we lose it. It makes a difference if we share our faith. I am not sure we need more who think politics or economics are going to be the best way to change our world. Nigeria is a great example of how the world can change. For decades the government was corrupt. The president would get uber rich and all the people would remain uber poor. The other problem was that there were radical Muslims like Boko Haram who were continually attacking and killing or kidnapping people. But the Christian church started growing in Nigeria. Hundreds of thousands come to Christ each week. One of the largest and fastest growing churches in the world are in Nigeria. It has made the political landscape better and has helped the people to work together to make their country safer. How did it change Nigeria? Not through politics- but through changed hearts- one person at a time.
You are the light of the world. You bring and reflect the light from above. We are a billion pieces of mirror reflecting the light of God to the rest of the world. But if we put our light away, if we hide it under a bowl- it does no good. In a few weeks we will be lighting up the steeple. At night you will be able to see it for a mile, and we will be placing bells on it to ring out reminders of people to look to God and not just to themselves. I remember in my first little church out in the country, we put lights on its little steeple. There were no street lights out in the country. People would drive from their third shift work at 3:30 AM and pass our little church. I received two calls within a few months from non-members saying that just seeing the light on the steeple encouraged or changed their hearts. It seemed like such a small thing just to turn a light on the steeple.
You have the opportunity to be a super person with the super law of love to those around you. The super law is to love them- as you would yourself. As you pour love- generated by Christ- onto others- going out of your way to be kind- especially when they do not deserve it- you are lifting up the cover on your light. You are getting the salt out of the salt shaker. Do not be ordinary. Do not seek to fit in and conform to the world- but transform it by the super love of Christ.
When you take communion today- take it remembering that you bring taste- salt to the world, and you bring light in the darkness as you love God and as you love neighbor.