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Matthew 5:27-30

(I'm not sure yet how to post the text on this site since I usually use my phone to browse).

We've heard of the term these days called "trolling" which has to do with a deliberate act of making a post, tweet, article, etc. to solicit an emotional knee jerk reaction from the readers and whip up controversy.  Sometimes it is meant to make a point of showing the hypocrisy, lies and double standards of a group or individual.

I mention this because the more I read passages like the one above the more I think this was the intention of our Lord not to illustrate a truth or exposit some teaching but perhaps to anger them and harden their hearts even more. Christ knew the hypocritical Pharisees, who thought they were pure as the driven snow, were hanging on to every word he spoke hoping to catch him in a lie or contradiction of Moses. Therefore, Christ would make statements like this to drive them mad and "push their buttons"  by pointing out the inability of even the Pharisees to get to heaven through the law of Moses. Unless they went as far as plucking their eye out are cutting of their hand no way would they see salvation. Jesus knew the Pharisees were committing all kinds of sins, maybe not outwardly, but definitely in their hearts (though, most likely also with their bodies in private).

Of, course, the common folk of the day would have grasped this truth (as we also in this time who have accepted him as our Savior) but no way would the self righteous Pharisses have understood. They would have been insulted and angered even more towards Christ for daring to suggest their good works would be way short of the mark and to suggest self mutilation would be needed to be saved.

This makes me think of the Proverbs "answer a fool according to his folly" which in a way Jesus was doing here. 

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I would not classify Jesus as a Troll, or what He did as Trolling; quite unreverential I think.  Proverbs 26:4 (KJV) Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.  Proverbs 26:5 (KJV) Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Verses 4 and 5  are given as examples and meant as a contrast in answering a fool according to a particular situation.                 

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Trolling is meant to incite reactions and controversy but not a decision. What Christ did was specifically done to separate the chaff from the wheat and provoke the wheat to bear fruit.

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Except that the primary audience for Matthew 5:27-30 (yea, for the entire "Sermon on the Mount") was NOT the Pharisees, but was the disciples.  This is revealed by Matthew 5:1 and by the many references to "your Father which is in heaven."  As such, the "you" and "ye" pronouns throughout this "sermon" referred to the disciples (except where specifically indicated otherwise, such as the quote in Matthew 7:23).

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2 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Except that the primary audience for Matthew 5:27-30 (yea, for the entire "Sermon on the Mount") was NOT the Pharisees, but was the disciples.  This is revealed by Matthew 5:1 and by the many references to "your Father which is in heaven."  As such, the "you" and "ye" pronouns throughout this "sermon" referred to the disciples (except where specifically indicated otherwise, such as the quote in Matthew 7:23).

How do you get that from Matthew 5:1? Multitudes of people came to him. That could be anyone including his disciples (which the passage seems to suggest  were set apart from the rest of the multitudes) and no doubt the Pharisees were there too. As you can see in Matthew 18:8,9 where he mentions the same thing again and the beginning of chapter 19:1-3 where the Pharisees are following right along trying to trip him up in his words.

I believe the Lord purposely tried to goad on the Pharisees and make them angry which statements like this. 

13 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

I would not classify Jesus as a Troll, or what He did as Trolling; quite unreverential I think.  Proverbs 26:4 (KJV) Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.  Proverbs 26:5 (KJV) Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Verses 4 and 5  are given as examples and meant as a contrast in answering a fool according to a particular situation.                 

Well, the term "troll" as used today comes from the idea of "fishing by moving a line back and forth" not a mythological creature who lives under a bridge. Jesus seemed to fish for a reaction from the Pharisees on occasion.

I could see how some would consider it disrespectful but I didn't mean it as such.  

 

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13 hours ago, John Young said:

Trolling is meant to incite reactions and controversy but not a decision. What Christ did was specifically done to separate the chaff from the wheat and provoke the wheat to bear fruit.

I think trolling is also intended at times to point out the folly of a persons belief or position by using their own rational or beliefs against them. Many times using hyperbole to do it.

I'm not sure how telling someone to pluck out their eye or cut off their hand would bring forth fruit but I could see have it would harden the heart of someone. Jesus wanted to harden the hearts of the Pharisees and I know people who use passages like Matt. 5:27-30 to call the bible a bunch of hokum.

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, SureWord said:

How do you get that from Matthew 5:1? Multitudes of people came to him. That could be anyone including his disciples (which the passage seems to suggest  were set apart from the rest of the multitudes) and no doubt the Pharisees were there too. As you can see in Matthew 18:8,9 where he mentions the same thing again and the beginning of chapter 19:1-3 where the Pharisees are following right along trying to trip him up in his words.

I believe the Lord purposely tried to goad on the Pharisees and make them angry which statements like this. 

Matthew 5:1-2 -- "And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying . . ."

Grammatically, the antecedent for the pronoun "them" in Matthew 5:2 is "his disciples" from Matthew 5:1.  The "multitudes" were indeed present, as per the opening line of Matthew 5:1; and the Pharisees MAY have been present among those "multitudes."  However, the PRIMARY audience for our Lord's teaching in Matthew 5-7 was the "them" of "his disciples."

Then in Matthew 5:11 our Lord Jesus Christ first begins to use the second person "ye/you" pronouns, and those pronouns are contextually a reference to "his disciples."  Indeed, our Lord then proceeds to use the second person plural pronouns "ye/you/your" (as well as the second person singular pronouns "thou/thy/thine") in Matthew 5:12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48; Matthew 6:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33; Matthew 7:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 20.  Indeed, those who are thus referenced by these second person pronouns "ye/you/your" and "thou/thy/thine" are those to whom the phrase may rightly apply, "your Father which is in heaven" (as per Matthew 5:16, 45, 48; 6:1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15, 18, 26, 32; 7:11).  Finally, when our Lord did directly mention the Pharisees throughout Matthew 5-7, He did not mention them as the group to whom He was directly speaking, but mentioned them in direct contrast to the "ye/you/your/thou/thy/thine" to whom he was directly speaking (as per Matthew 5:20, as well as Matthew 5:12; 6:2, 5, 16).

(Note 1: In Matthew 6:9-13 our Lord provides the model prayer concerning how "his disciples" are to pray unto "our Father which art in heaven."  Since our Lord presented this model prayer as a type of guided quotation, the antecedent to the pronouns is different.)

(Note 2: In Matthew 7:21-23 our Lord presented a prophet glimpse into the future judgment.  Since our Lord presented this prophet glimpse through a series of interactive quotations, the antecedent to the pronouns is different.)

_____________________________________________________

Concerning the instruction of Matthew 5:29-30 specifically, when taken in its immediate context, this instruction relates DIRECTLY to the issue/sin/temptation of sexual lust.

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
grammar
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Bro. Scott did an excellent job of explaining this situation. In reading about what jesus said and did it become very apparent that because of the multitude Jesus withdrew to the mountain and proceeded to teach His disciples, as His primary audience and reason for  His teaching.

 

I had indeed forgotten or missed this point when reading it this time, because I, myself, have taught this very same reasoning in years gone by. This becomes very clear when we read the words He spoke saying, "his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them".

Thank you for this reminder Bro. Scott.

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