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You Have Heard

It has been said (not written) which means the standing interpretation of these passages from the OT were wrong. Jesus unpacks the traditional views on murder, adultery, divorce, swearing oaths, revenge, treatment of enemies and in doing so establishes a new ethic and a better way to live in relationships.


we're starting a series called subversive Saviour and we're using that title both to draw intrigue and interest into the series but also because this is the definition that we're using up subversive as we talk about the way of Jesus to seek or attend to subvert an established system or institution as you look at the life of Jesus as we've been doing for this entire year and we'll continue to do that for Jesus subvert being subversive meant attacking a religious system that had been established that came out of Judaism that wasn't what it was kind of based on if you do certain things then God will do certain things and if you don't do certain things than God will do certain things and they're not good things and this idea was pervasive in the religious arena that Jesus found himself in and he came to subvert that but he also came to subvert the religiousness that often creeps into our own lives and and and so there's this phrase that we're gonna keep coming back to especially today but over this series that will help I think break us from any religiousness that we have going on in our lives that have found their way into the systems of how we think about our faith how we think about other people how we think about God and here's the phrase if you're taking notes write this down you've heard it said but Jesus says you've heard it said but Jesus says you've heard it said it comes out of this idea that there were a lot of things that the Old Testament talked about a lot of teachings that came out of the Old Testament that the religious rulers would use and interpret differently than the way Jesus wanted to them to be interpreted and so we're going to talk about that let me before we do that but let me just tell you this story of a few months ago I had a guy as I mentioned King K graduated so one of his friends I didn't know him very well but he called me up he texted me actually and asked if he could have some time with me and so how many I mean odd to have a senior in high school randomly text you didn't even know he has my phone number probably got it from my and say hey can we get together so I was like yeah I mean right you know and so we met for coffee and I found out that he was doing a research project on the role of religion and faith in society has it helped or has it hindered Society I'm super interesting he's not religious he would probably call him himself as someone of faith but not in faith in Jesus and or at least he's an investigating it and so it was a really amazing conversation that we got to have around religion and faith and I listened to him talk about his research that he found that religion was more detrimental in society than beneficial and I looked at his research and I thought yeah that's pretty solid and but then he said but then he said from someone that that doesn't believe in Christ doesn't follow Christianity he said but faith interestingly his research found that faith has had a contributing part in society beneficial part of society and and so it was really interesting and so we we talk back and forth about about life about faith about my faith and and he actually wanted to meet with me because he needed an expert in religion for his research project he was disappointed I'm not I'm not joking literally asked me if I knew of anybody at the end of our meeting SD do you know of an expert yeah I know you did call the wrong guy I get that and yeah I do have some names for you that may be more traditional but I'm not religious right I don't want to be I want to be a follower of Jesus and and so and then and then as we were talking he's like Steve I we have way more in common than I thought we would have we both want the good of our world and we want to serve the the people that are that need to be served and I'm a yeah we have a lot in common and then I asked him I said but what do you think about Jesus and he looked at me so why he's a good man he was a prophet I think he was a prophet he said some I mean I would be great to follow him I think he has a he has ways of thinking and living that I probably follow some of his ways I so do you do you believe that he that he died and rose again and you're like no no I do and he's like yeah I figured you did and it was a conversation shifted just a little bit you know because he's a really smart kid and intellectually and really smart and it reminded me of first Corinthians chapter 1 verse 23 where Paul's writing this to a group of people who are trying to live in a in a non-religious environment so when we preached that Christ was crucified that Jews have are offended because they crucified Jesus and the Gentiles say what nonsense anybody ever get that if you if you let it out that you're a Christian which I hope you will more and more increasingly so this year but when you let it out that you're a follower of Jesus do you get the looks that I got in that coffee shop that day when I told him I believed in the resurrection of Jesus like really in that nonsense and that make-believe is that something that you've just thought up to give you some kind of security in life right and I thought I started to think about this that all of a sudden Jesus cuz I pressed him I was like I pressed him what do you think about Jesus and I was like I know you think he's a good man but he said some really hard things and he like he said he would die and rise again and we believe that he did and what do you think of him now and we I just kept pressing him because we liked it we had this idolized version of Jesus like this flowing robe and he's just easy to understand and like and get along with and have you read his teaching there's some really hard things he says some really really tough things that are subversive to not only the religious way but any other way and he challenges me and he's been challenging me and I I don't want Jesus to be a stumbling block for people but his teaching makes him that way and we've created all kinds of other stumbling blocks for people in religion there's you can't you can't meet Jesus because you have to live like this you have to look like this you have to think like this you have to vote like this and we've created all of these other barriers to receiving Jesus than just Jesus and so through this series we're gonna let Jesus be Jesus and we're gonna look at some of his teaching that when you look at it you know like oh I didn't know that was in there you know and it causes it will challenge the way that you've always thought so turn to Matthew chapter 5 that's quite and true isn't it that's that'll wake you up pay attention to this message Matthew chapter five it's a one of jesus's most famous sermons several chapters called the Sermon on the mountain and we're going to take a portion of the Sermon on the Mount and unpack it a little bit and and it's and like you're gonna see it's it's subversive he's trying to break the people he's talking to he's trying to break them free from an old way of thinking from a religious way of thinking and and and interestingly enough as he starts he uses this phrase that we're gonna keep coming back to over and over and over again is that you have heard but I say you have heard but I say he says this at the very beginning I mean he says you have heard it said for instance do not commit adultery where did he get that he got that from the Old Testament right and so but what's interesting to me is he says he says you have heard he doesn't say it is written I think he does that on purpose I think if he says it is written everybody that was listening to hymns like yeah totally that's exactly right Jesus you're right but he says you have heard why does he say that the reason is as we unpack some of these sections is that he the people the religious rulers had taken what was written and started to miss apply it to people's lives they were starting to create all kinds of other rules that didn't matter to relationship with God and Jesus comes and he says you have heard it said but I'm telling you what it really meant I'm gonna clear it up for you that what I'm what I'm really asking for let me give you an example he says do not commit you've heard it said do not commit adultery but I say even if you lust after a woman you have committed adultery in your heart now that's like okay wait a second now then he goes on to say that if you've got if you if your eye your right eye causes you to stumble what does he say to do cut it out okay wait wait wait yeah we know Jewish teachers use they use hyperbole and I'm really thankful for that because if this was true and this was accurate and we needed to do exactly what Jesus said there would be a lot of guys one-eyed men going around including your pastor I'm just telling ya let's be honest and right and so I just like so he's using hyperbole Thank You Jesus but don't miss this that we we like you know what religion does religion creates loopholes you can be like there were men standing around Jesus and there and they and they've got they've got stuff going on inside dark stuff and and they're and they're going but it but okay the the law says do not commit adultery I haven't therefore I haven't broken the law but I got a lot of these really bad thoughts in my mind but nobody knows about it so I'm good and Jesus comes and says no that's not what I was trying not trying to get you to clean up your behavior I'm trying to change your heart I'm trying to bring transformation from the inside out and so I'm gonna tell you some subversive things I'm gonna tell you some hard things that will that will shake you out of this idea that just follow just go by the book go by the book you know I love the whole Bible is written in black and white except the words of Jesus there in red and they and they're there because they want to jump off the page and hit you square in the eyes you know I'm saying like this is talking to me alright so let's dive into this verse 38 I'm home all over the board today I decided not to follow my notes much today that's probably I don't know get her bad million what do you think you've heard every single one of these messages I don't know it's great she's she's she likes her job so she just tells me that's not true we don't we have a pretty honest culture alright verse 38 Jesus I'm gonna unpack this this section here's another old saying oh by the way I'm reading from the message so if you have a different translation you're like that's not in the Bible it's true Eugene Peterson takes it and he pulls out some nuances and you're in his writing to help us kind of really understand the text and so I I love how it's written in the message that's why I'm using it today here's another old saying Jesus says that deserves a second look say a second look tell something next to you this deserves a second look because it does this deserves a second look you can't just take what was written and how the religious rulers were teaching it and just go okay that's what it means Jesus is saying I want you to dig deeper I want you to listen to what I have to say and let it change you let it let it get beyond just what you've heard right and so here's another old saying that deserves a second look I for an eye tooth for a tooth is that going to get us anywhere so he's saying he's taking this old mindset this old system that I believe is still still very prevalent even in the United States right and around the world is an eye for an eye tooth for a tooth if you if you hurt somebody you deserve to be hurt if you take somebody's life you deserve to lose your life if you and this over and over and over we still in so many ways live by this old way of thinking and I for an eye a tooth for a tooth we think that's just and we're gonna fight for justice it's interesting Jesus says here's what I propose oh my gosh you guys this is crazy I mean this is really hard especially for us I think in this context in our in our life in DES today here's what I propose don't hit back at all no wait if somebody hits me I'm hitting him back I mean we've told our kids to do that right if you got boys right if somebody if a boy hits you you gotta establish they right you hit you can hit him Johnny you can hit him there's nobody hits you you can hit on and there's a girl you can't hit him see sissy says don't hit back at all if someone strikes you stand there and take it come on he doesn't really mean that right if someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back well make sure you discredit their character while they're doing it or make sure you go after them and sue them instead now Jesus says what gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it you want my shirt just grab my best jacket here you go you can have that too or if a soldier who's by the way I mean they were they the Jewish people saw their enemies and saw the people that were taunting them and hurting them and Jesus even says in another place that if the soldier asks you to carry his stuff for a mile carry it to someone takes an unfair advantage you've used the occasion to practice the servant life no more tit for tat stuff live generously say generously he's subversive he's coming right at us you and me how we think how we live says you're familiar with the old written long love your friend right you're familiar with this it's this is what it this is what said love your friend and it's unwritten companion hate your enemy love your friend hate your enemy I'm challenging that I'm telling you to love your enemies let them bring out the best in you not the worst when someone gives you a hard time respond with the energies of prayer for their then you are working out of your true selves your God created selves this is what God does he gives his best the Sun to warm and the rain to nourish to everyone regardless the good and bad the nice and nasty he does he gives it all to them if all you do is love the lovable do you expect a bonus anybody can do that if you simply say hello to those who greet you do you expect a medal any run-of-the-mill sinner does that he's trying to shake us out of a certain way of thinking and living and then he goes right at it and verse forty eight in a word what am I saying is this grow up become what I've created you to be made in the image of God people who treat others well who live by a different standard a people of the way not of this worlds way not of a religious way but of the Jesus way because religion loves to draw a line in the sand and say you're in and you're out you're wanted and you're not you're unwanted you're worthy and you're unworthy religion does that over and over again and what Jesus is doing through his teaching on the Sermon on the Mount he's taking all of us and firmly placing us on the unworthy side together and saying only by the grace of Jesus Christ can we be made worthy and we all start in this place and don't ever forget that you're familiar with what it said in the word what I'm saying is grow up your kingdom subjects now live like it live out your God created identity live generously and graciously toward others the way God has lived toward it you doing to others as you would want them doing to you right it gets changed to do unto others as Jesus has already done unto you nor what got Bob Gough said a couple years ago when Bob got visited us and spoke here he said love everyone and start with the ones who creep you out it's good advice we need a little bit more Bob in our theology about how we live in relationship with one another with ourselves love wins the day and so in a word Jesus is saying what grow up become who I've created you to be not not because eternity is at stake listen we when you receive Jesus and you ask him into your life and you say I want to follow your way your eternal destination is solidified you're gonna spend eternity with him he wants that he went to prepare a place for you so that you can you and I can be with him always that's what he said he that's what he loves that's what he's looking forward to but how we live here and now actually matters not for that but for all the who have yet to receive Jesus it matters this kid that I met with not only was listening to what I believed he was he's been watching how I live and it makes a difference in what he thinks about faith what he thinks about God and what he thinks about Jesus I was thinking about the woman at the well anybody know that story the woman at the well John chapter 4 I love this story I don't I don't know how much I'm gonna read of it in this service but you can read on you can read it later John chapter 4 Jesus lived out his teaching in such a compelling way that when he was walking from one location to another he stopped it a well and he went through Samaria and he met a Samaritan woman and he was a Jewish man and you weren't supposed to talk to Samaritans you weren't supposed to and a man not to a woman especially it was just all unacceptable that's what religion does religions separates it says you can't talk to this person you can't have relationship with that person and this woman is so broken and she and we find out in the story that she's had five husbands and she's living with a sixth man not even married to him and and and Jesus comes and she ends up at the well with Jesus at noon in the middle of the day we I've never had to go carry water but I've met people in Africa who dude you don't go at noon to carry water back to the village you go in the morning you need the water all day why is she going at noon she doesn't want to see anybody she she is so ashamed so broken that she just wants to be by herself and in that place she meets up with Jesus and Jesus starts to offer her life he doesn't judge her he doesn't rebuke her he doesn't he doesn't say hey clean up your mess get go on home he calls her out he says I it's good that you said that you don't have a husband matter of fact you've had five and you're living with one another man now he calls her out and what's interesting to me is you if you read this story when Jesus calls her out you know what she does she does what all of us do when he calls us out we change the subject we avoid we try to we try to blame other people or we try to we try to make excuses or we I've seen this a lot we blame religion that's what she does she starts talking about where you're supposed to worship on this mountain or that mountain and Jesus like where did that come from she's the pain that he just revealed in her heart that he wants to come and start to minister to she is so taken aback by that she's like well it's it's really it's religion they the church the church messed me up the church is disappointed me the church my Jesus is trying to come to those places of pain and brokenness no matter who's caused them or why they're there and he comes gently probing and saying but I have life for you abundant life like a artesian well springing up from you that you will have everlasting eternal life she is so hungry for that that she stays in the conversation even when it gets awkward instead of leaving see this this is real religion James the half-brother of Jesus must have been paying attention at some point because this is what he writes about real religion he says real religion the kind that passes muster before God the Father is this reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight and guard against corruption from the godless world your the way you live matters the disciples come back in this story they see Jesus talking to this woman Samaritan woman by himself and they're what shocked read it it's amazing they like their moral sensibilities Jesus you can't be with her and then imagine after they find out who she is and what she's done and who she's been with they must be shocked appalled like you can't do that because that's what religion does it says you're in and you're out and you're worthy of my of me having any attention or love towards you and you're not and Jesus breaks down all of those barriers and subverts all of those things and says all are welcome drink freely from the water that I have for you see religion would have rejected this woman in this village that she was a part of but the way of Jesus living generously and graciously ended up how with many following Jesus look at verse 39 of John 4 you're not there because I didn't tell you to turn there but let me read it to you anyway many of the Samaritans from that village committed themselves to Jesus why because of the woman's witness you know what her witness was this is what she said he knew all about the things I did does it does that strike he is funny like I don't want anybody else to know what I did I don't want anybody to call me out but he did it in such a way that was welcoming and inviting in and she says he knew everything I did he knows me inside and out and so they asked him the village asked him to stay on and he stayed two days and a lot more people entrusted themselves to him why because the woman responded and let her life matter to those in that village I want to ask you a few questions you're not gonna like them when I ask you a few questions I want you to I want you to see if you identify with any of these and I want you to be honest okay the religious side of us will say that's for somebody else enough for me okay so just like embrace the fact that one of these is going to relate to you and embrace that moment and allow Jesus to come into that place and begin to work something new in you here's here are the questions do you blame religion or use religion to draw away attention from your own brokenness do you blame religion or use religion to draw away attention from your own brokenness another question do you hold on to beliefs in such a way as to divide labeling certain people as unworthy or unwelcome do you condemn anyone in your heart Meeny response would be no not at all let me give you a few categories do you condemn the LGBTQ community or certain political parties or politicians or those who smoke marijuana or those who live off the government or those who worship Allah or Buddha do you condemn anyone in your heart you know what let me just stop there before I give you the other questions we've we've created a culture in church now where anybody that disagrees with the way of Jesus is put into a category as unworthy you might not say it that way but the way that we talk about this those groups the way that we interact with those groups the emotion that comes up when we when we see see certain people on the news or whatever tells you that it's real that that you've placed them in a certain category instead of being broken for their brokenness we we get this kind of thing like oh they're there they're outside of God's will they're outside of God's way Jesus didn't do that and so I think he wants to subvert some of that in us it says this is so fun let me keep going on I can tell are you are you living in a loophole you're doing something you're making certain choices you know they're wrong maybe because everybody else is doing them but you continue to do them because everybody else is doing them but in your heart you know it's wrong do you have a mask on do you pretend like you've got everything worked out in your life do you have your theology all nice and tidy fits it fits in the box of your own creation do you find that you fight for your theology more than you fight for love and justice are you living so much for yourself you can't see the hurt of those around you here's the last one here we go thank you Jesus have you watered down Jesus to being just a good man rather than a risen Savior all of this is subversive it just is I used to sell I used to sell pardon my my way I phrased that but I used to sell a version of Jesus that wood is compelling and popular and that people would like him and I haven't sure there's any other services but I am I'm trying to finish my book about whether God is faithful and good and sovereign and I'm in the I'm my editor wrote back to me about the chapter where God is good and this is what she said to me she said Steve I believe that God is good but I don't believe that you believe that God is good and I just I just that there's things that God wants to work in us and we've put these barriers up saying Jesus can't have all of me and he wants to have all of us and it's subversive he'll go after deeply held beliefs about certain things so that we can be changed from the inside out there's a section in John 6 where many of Jesus's followers desert him because of his teaching and he turns to his twelve that he that he chose to follow him ask the the twelve that he actually asked would you come follow me and he yeah and he says this do you also want to leave do you also want to leave the reality is is that if you look at the life of Jesus the crowds abdun flowed because of his teaching they came and they went and the ones that stuck listen I was gonna say about my book I forgot the point of that whole thing I was trying to convince people that God was good even when bad things happen and I felt like God say stop trying to protect me stop trying to make me popular tell them Who I am and let them make up their own mind and I just this stuff's hard the way of Jesus is hard I don't want to sugarcoat it anymore I don't want to make I want to make it hard I want to make it hard for people to receive Jesus because it's hard to follow Jesus and the way that you come in is the way that you'll keep following it if you come in and into a relationship with Jesus because it's easy and hard stuff happens your faith is at risk but if you come with your eyes open I'm getting in the next week's message but if you come in with your eyes open so the reality of what it costs to follow Jesus when tough times come your faith the shaken will not be completely destroyed so Peter replies do you also want to leave the question that Jesus asked Peter says master I don't what else we gonna go at the end of the day literally this is what I've said to Jesus Jesus where else am I going to go you have the words of real life eternal life and we've committed ourselves we've already committed ourselves confident that you are who you say you are alright let me finish up I want to tell you one last story at Kinkaid because he's my graduate and I love him and I'm proud of him and I want to brag on him because preachers can't brag on themselves so I'm gonna brag on my kids and so we're at a baseball banquet last week the last one of his high school career and can somebody say thank you Jesus those banquets has anybody ever been to those sports banquets they go on and on and on and all you really want to hear is what the coach has to say about your kid you don't care about any others you know that's for you no I was right I mean and so this is not true and that in this case there were nine seniors on this baseball team and almost all of them we've been Kinkaid played with them for the over ten years we like we're like family and so we're at the baseball banquet they give out all the rewards and there's this last award that one of the moms wanted to establish a Memorial Scholarship Fund in her dad's honor and and wanted to establish it in light of the characteristics of her dad that lived with integrity it was was a man that loved sports and always played and watched sports with a high level of sportsmanship and so she created this this memorial for her dad and it was the inaugural one she was gonna they were gonna give it out to a kid and they were trying to figure out how do we figure out who which kid is deserving and I'm looking out up at all nine of the seniors that are graduating and I'm thinking all but two of them deserve that award you know I'm saying we know who the two are but anyway that's but I'm looking I would literally I'm like a man any one of these boys could get this award because they're men event there's men of integrity and high-five to the parents out there who have raised their kids to be men and women of integrity but I'm watching this and the way they decided to to determine who got the reward was they would have all the teammates vote on it and the coaches and in and she said it was a landslide Kincaid got all of the votes except for one I'm pretty sure that's him I'm hoping that he didn't vote for himself [Laughter] do you - are you deserving of that award if you go for yourself maybe but he got this award and I was you know obviously a really proud dad but I was just thinking about that I was thinking about that in light of this message and the reality is is that we are memorials of the life and love of Jesus and that and that that so a group of boy is recognized what I would say and I think what Kincaid would say are the qualities of Jesus emerging as he plays ball and as he interacts with his friends and and that that they're emerging from this place and we are representatives we are representatives of the life and love of Jesus and how we represent him it matters it doesn't matter for eternity I'm not I'm not trying to equate how we live with his love and acceptance of us please don't take walk away with that what I'm saying is that how we live matters for those who don't know him yet and that Jesus would help us that he would subvert every other way in us that selfish and self-serving and worldly and religious and ungodly and that he would begin that we would have failed our selves to him and he would begin to work out his life and love in our hearts more and more every day so Jesus that's what we asked for that's what we want even when it's painful even when it feels like you're digging up weeds and pulling out roots and moving heavy rocks we want our life to represent yours we want our love to be representative of yours without shame and condemnation when we fall short but help us Jesus to continue to live according to your way and not our way according to your way and not a religious way according to your way and not even a Christian way we want your way do that in our hearts through this series I pray in Jesus name Amen hey the prayer team is available over at the prayer wall thank you guys so much for being available real stuff happens yeah this stuff happens over at the prayer wall also I want to invite you back next week how many it's Father's Day I love Father's Day funny thing about the church though on Mother's Day all the dads and all the men show up because you forced them to ladies I'm just saying that's why they came not always but then on Father's Day you ladies are gonna ask your husbands and and hey you can do whatever you want and I'm not saying that the dads choose not to come to church it's just a little bit less attended on that weekend generally and I and the reason listen the reason I'm not giving a bad dads bad time you know why is because we beat up on dads on Father's Day and I'm done with that I want to inspire fathers and men to live the lives that we've always dreamed of living and it will be challenging I'm not gonna beat up on you it will challenge some some of the stuff in here and in you but it's it's it will inspire you I believe to live into that dream that God has for you so don't skip NBA Finals are over who cares the French Open was done today who cares what else is going on and record it who cares hey the Beavers need something we can all give them the baseball you know I'm saying we go I'll give him the baseball they are good they've always been good at baseball not much else I'm done I don't know you guys you're still sitting here I just invite you back your Father's Day we'll see you next week

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