Jesus’ teaching is not so much law, rather a principle of freedom for us to live by. Jesus’ instructions regularly emphasise that those who acknowledge God's sovereignty can have a close and personal relationship with him. When we accept God's authority, we are free to know him and have a living relationship. We are given values to live by - as T.W. Manson (an English Biblical scholar who lived in the early 1900’s) put it – “Jesus’ teaching is a compass rather than an ordinance map; it gives direction rather than directions.”
God cares for all his people and even about the smallest of details in our lives. We are told to trust in God and rely on his provision. We do not need to store up money and riches on earth, we should not worry about the future, we should not indulge ourselves in self-righteous judgement, we should turn to God for all our needs. As it says in The Message version of the Bible “What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.”
In Matthew 7:12 (NIV) Jesus gives us the golden rule - “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the Prophets”. This is what God does for us every day and maybe this is something that we could pray for on waking every day – God help me to be merciful in all that I do today.
In Matthew 7:21-27, Jesus is making it clear that it is vitally important that our house of faith must be built on strong foundations to withstand the storms of life that we will encounter. When we build on Jesus and the gospel then we will have stability and peace, just as God intends for us. The Sermon on the Mount focuses on what Jesus says and is ended in Matthew 8:1, and then we can read about what he goes out and does in the rest of chapter 8 & 9.
Dear Father, please forgive me when I forget that You are there. Help me to put you first in every area of my life. Help me to live one day at a time. Help me not to worry about tomorrow but focus on today. Help me to trust You more and worry less. In Jesus’ name – Amen.