Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XI: Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Surpassing Righteousness
A. The Surpassing Righteousness Of The Character Of Christ's Subjects
(Matthew 5:1-12)
  1. Introduction
    1. If Jesus is God's true Messiah, not only does He need to be upright, but His kingdom's subjects must reflect God's righteousness that surpasses the false righteounsess of Israel's leaders of Jesus' day.
    2. Christ's great "Sermon on the Mount" of Matthew 5:1-7:29 explains how the righteousness in Christ's subjects surpass the artificial righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees (Matthew 5:20), and we view that righteous character of His subjects for personal insight and edification in Matthew 5:1-12 as follows:
  2. The Surpassing Righteousness Of The Character Of Christ's Subjects, Matthew 5:1-12.
    1. Where Moses had received God's Law on Mount Sinai (Ex. 19:20-32:7), Jesus as the Messiah from God, Who was the Prophet like unto Moses to come (Deut. 18:15-19), went up into a mountain and, like the rabbis who sat to teach, He sat down and taught His disciples, Matt. 5:1; Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 28.
    2. He began to instruct His disciples on the character of the subjects in His Kingdom, which character exceeded that of the scribes and Pharisees, and explains what "repent" means in His call for people to "repent" in preparation for the Messianic Kingdom, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Matthew 5:1:
      1. Jesus claimed His Kingdom subjects are "poor in spirit", that they realize their need to depend on God versus depending upon themselves to please Him, Matthew 5:2-3a, Ibid., Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 29. Jesus promised such subjects will possess the Kingdom of God, Matthew 5:3b.
      2. Jesus claimed His Kingdom subjects "mourn", that they realize their spiritual bankruptcy and that of the world around them, and seek God's help, Matt. 5:4a. They will be comforted by God, Matt. 5:4b.
      3. Jesus claimed His Kingdom subjects are "meek," humble, gentle people who appreciate their blessings from Him, Matthew 5:5a; Ibid. Such subjects will inherit the earth in the Kingdom, Matthew 5:5b.
      4. Jesus claimed His Kingdom subjects hunger and thirst after righteousness, tha they have a continuing desire for righteousness, Matt. 5:6a; Ibid. Such subjects will have this hunger met, Matthew 5:6b.
      5. Jesus claimed His Kingdom subjects are merciful unto other people, that they reflect God's mercy unto themselves toward others, Matt. 5:7a; Ibid. Such subjects will obtain God's mercy, Matthew 5:7b.
      6. Jesus claimed His Kingdom subjects are pure in heart, that they are inwardly clean from sin by faith in God's provision and a continuing awareness of their need for that provision in their daily lives, Matthew 5:8a; Ibid. Jesus claimed such subjects will see God in all His glory, Matthew 5:8b.
      7. Jesus claimed His Kingdom subjects are peacemakers who are at peace with God and show others how to have peace, Matthew 5:9a; Ibid. Such people will be called God's children, Matthew 5:9b.
      8. Jesus claimed His Kingdom subjects are persecuted for the righteousness sake, Matthew 5:10a; Ibid. Thus, they will be possessers of the Kingdom of God, Matt. 5:10b.
      9. Jesus claimed His Kingdom subjects are verbally assaulted for heeding and serving Him, Matt. 5:11. Thus, they are to rejoice and be very glad, for their reward in heaven is great, for in the same way were the great Old Testament prophets treated, and those prophets are greatly rewarded, Matthew 5:12.
    3. These characteristics were not true of the scribes and the Pharisees: instead, they were self-exalting and self-sufficient, arrogantly independent of God; they boasted in their works; they laid heavy legalistic burdens on others; they were inwardly full of wickedness; they wrought unrest, not peace; instead of being persecuted and verbally assaulted for righteousness, they even persecuted others! (Matthew 23:1-36)
Lesson: Applicable to all eras of God's people as they will all live in Christ's Messianic Kingdom, in character, the subjects of Christ's Kingdom recognize their need for Him and rely on Him for righteousness and blessing. They show mercy to others, they are peacemakers, and they suffer for the sake of righteousness and for Christ. Consequently, they will be variously, richly rewarded by the Lord.

Application: May we who believe in Christ have these characteristics applied in our own walk by faith that we might live in alignment with the expected character of Christ's Kingdom subjects!