All That Jesus Taught : Bible Study Part 15 | Zac Poonen
We turn once again to the verse that we’ve been considering all this past days/weeks Matthew 28:20, teach the disciples in every nation to do all that I commanded you. Teaching all that Jesus taught, to do what he taught and what he commanded. This has been our theme and we’ve been looking at the statements of Christ in the gospel of Matthew. We’ve come so far to Matthew 5:19 and we want to look today at verse 20. We want to take the teaching of Jesus exactly like it is written because many have diluted it, made it mean what it doesn’t mean, and because they are not able to live up to that standard they have lowered God’s standard down to their level. Whenever you see something in God’s word which you haven’t attained to, higher than your level of life you have 2 options. 1 is to say “Well it doesn’t really mean that”. It means in a general way but exactly not like that. For example: if it says, rejoice in the Lord always in Philippians 4:4. It doesn’t mean always, it means generally speaking, most of the time.
Now you have succeeded lowering God’s word down to your current level and you satisfy yourself that you are obeying it. But the spiritually minded Christian leaves Gods word where it is and says “I’m supposed to rejoice the Lord 24/7” and he acknowledges humbly “Lord I’m not there yet. I’m rejoicing some of the time, grumbling some of the time or most of the time. I’m angry often but I’m not rejoicing always in all circumstances. I’m not giving thanks like the Bible says. So I acknowledge this; please bring me there.” That’s the person who will reach there. The other person who has lowered God’s standard to his level will never attain to Gods standard and one day wake up in eternity and discover he disobeyed God all his life. So it is good to leave God’s standard to where it is and acknowledge whether we have not understood it or we haven’t reached there. Then there’s some hope we will get there. Remember that is when you come to this verse Matthew 5:20 all that Jesus taught and commanded “I say to you that unless your righteousness exceeds/surpasses that of the Scribes and Pharisees you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven”. Now remember that the righteousness of the Pharisees was a pretty high standard. They kept the 10 Commandments. You remember that young reach ruler that came to Jesus and said “I kept all the Commandments” and Jesus didn’t question that? Of course they couldn’t keep the 10th Commandments but nobody could keep that. They were keeping all the other 9 because the 10th one is inward but they were keeping those Commandments. They’re keeping all the Old Testament laws, more than 600 commandments. They were in the Old Testament. They were keeping that. The Pharisees boasted that they prayed regularly (probably 3 times a day), they fasted twice a week, and they give 10% of all their income. And your righteousness must exceed that means what? Does that mean you got to pray more than 3 times a day, fast more than twice a week, give more than 10% of your income? That’s not the meaning. We always think in terms of quantity because our mind is worldly minded.
The more worldly minded we are, we think in terms of numbers, statistics, quantity. We judge a church by the number of people there are not by the quality of life. We think Jesus said “All men well know you’re my disciple when there is 30,000 of you meeting in 1 church” but that’s not what he said. He told about his 11 disciple. His all men know you are my disciple when you 11 love one another. The number of people doesn’t matter. If you love one another that’s the primary quality of a mark of a true local church of disciples. Jesus always emphasized quality.