Religious people mean well when creating many expectations--even rules--to govern how to be truly religious. In this passage, Jesus provides a form of the one rule commanded for his followers to follow in their lives.
Ask. Seek. Knock. God knows what each of us needs at every moment. He already moves to meet our needs. (Remember Matt 6:24-34.) Like any good father--and infinitely more than the best human fathers--God wants us to ask him for whatever is on our heart. Not that he will grant everything we wish for. But so that he can teach us and relate to us like fathers relate to their children.
Though disciples are not to be judgmental of others (Matt 7:1-5), Jesus does teach us to know who we are dealing with. The Kingdom of God is precious, and its resources are not to be treated casually or carelessly. Some situations might only be a waste of time, or, worse, putting Kingdom things at risk of being abused and mistreated. Disciples are to have some "street smarts" as we go about our mission for the Lord.
Disciples of Jesus are as prone as anyone to make judgments about others. In this passage Jesus teaches us to pay attention to our judgmentalism. It might be a sign that we have much bigger issues in ourselves than those we call attention to in others.
Jesus said, "Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth...Store up treasures in heaven...," (Matthew 6:19-20). In today's text, Jesus doubles down on this radical attitude toward the power and riches of this world. As though he anticipates common-sense objections from his disciples, Jesus teaches that there is no justification for making the "necessities" of life our highest priority. Instead, our first thought and devotion must be to how we can serve the Kingdom of God with what God has given us today.
Jesus's resurrection proves the reality of the Christian hope for eternal life beyond death. It also demonstrates the divine power available to help Christians live Jesus' way now. Jesus calls Christians to store up treasures in heaven, because that is where our hearts will be. We also hear him saying that our hearts will have immense resources to serve God faithfully and to love others well. We need to be sure that we are investing out devotion, our time, and our money in that eternal hope.
Disciples of Jesus serve the Father, who is unseen. Therefore, Christian service is most genuine when only the Father knows about it.
Jesus reveals the keystone for everything he has been preaching so far in the Sermon on the Mount. To be righteous is to imitate the Father in heaven. Since the Father always loves his enemies, those who truly are God's children do the same.
This "turn the other cheek" teaching from Jesus is correctly recognized as calling Christians to non-resistance. Over the years there has been some controversy over whether this passage means that Christians cannot fight in wars or defend their homes and family from threats to life and property. While it is possible that Christians must consider this passage in such situations, it is also important that Jesus does not include those kinds of threats in his illustrations of how to practice the Christian principle of non-resistance.
In this study, we notice that Jesus calls his followers--anyone who wants to practice what is genuine righteousness--to follow his lead in coming alongside others as friends. These others are those who treat one's self wickedly, such as an insulting and belittling slap in the face or a lawsuit to forcibly claim property from you. Jesus earned a reputation as "friend of sinners," and he calls us to do likewise.
Matthew 5: 33-37
"Cross my fingers, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye!" As kids, we might have vowed this silly vow to assure someone else that they could believe what we were telling them. As adults, we have other rituals: "Put it in writing"; "Shake on it"; or, "I promise." In the teaching in this part of his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls Christians back to God's righteous way of simply telling the truth. Always. Only the truth.