Posted by: donnatallman | January 9, 2013

Challenging Cultural Norms

Considering Jesus Challenge

Matthew 5:43-46

Day 9, January 9, 2013

Chesapeake Afternoon

Photo by Donna Tallman

“You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?”

Wise sayings, adages, truisms, and cultural norms; Jesus is challenging all of them. Throughout Matthew, chapter 5, Jesus challenges what the people of his day have accepted as true

You have heard it was said:

You shall not murder (5:21) BUT I say don’t even be angry (5:22)

You shall not commit adultery (5:27) BUT I say don’t even look at a woman to lust  (5:28)

You shall not make false vows (5:33) BUT I say don’t make any vows (5:34)

An eye for an eye  and a tooth for a tooth (5:38) BUT I say don’t resist an evil person (5:39)

I’ve been thinking of some of our own adages and what Jesus might say about them if he were here now.

“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” Socrates

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.” Psalm 111:10

(If I am the beginning of wisdom…God help me!)

“Leave it all on the field.”

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:20-21

(Why do we do what we do? What is our motivation?)

“Just Do It”

“Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4

(“Just doing” something without abiding is a short cut to disaster)

“Have it Your Way”

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.’” John 5:19

(Following Jesus is not about me; it’s about him.)

“Be All that You Can Be”

“Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’” John 3:5

(Human effort will not bring us to Jesus)

Okay, now it’s your turn. Can you think of some current adages we have absorbed that Jesus contradicted in the New Testament?

Considering Jesus Challenge Passage for Tomorrow January 10, 2013:

“And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?'” Luke 9:23-25

© Copyright, 2013 by Donna Tallman.




  1. well put and food for thought.

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