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.
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.
Disciples of Jesus serve the Father, who is unseen. Therefore, Christian service is most genuine when only the Father knows about it.
Jesus announces the great theme of his Sermon on the Mount: his teachings make it possible for God's people to understand and practice the Law in the full way that God intended.
Jesus introduced the famous images of "salt of the earth" and "city on a hill" in this early part of his Sermon on the Mount. He uses these images to teach his followers what he has called them to be for this world that is destined for destruction. If Jesus were to teach this lesson again today, rather than salt and lamplight, he might use the image of scented candles.
Jesus promises his followers that pursuing God's happiness will result in finding real and enduring happiness.
Matthew shows disciples of Jesus what it means to catch people by the Kingdom of God.
In Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus is tested by Satan as to whether Jesus--unlike Israel before him--would live up to God's acclaim of Jesus as "My son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew's narrative of how Jesus succeeds against Satan's powerful temptations instructs all of us that righteousness is the fruit of true and total love of the Father.
Matthew's account of Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist raises the question of why Jesus was baptized. In answering this question, we find that Jesus' baptism models the form of entering and living in the Kingdom of Heaven. For those who faithfully accept the calling to righteousness, Heaven responds with access, anointing, and acclamation for attaining still more righteousness, to the glory of God.
For centuries, the Jews anticipated the revelation of the next king to sit on David's throne. In the Gospel of Matthew, we learn that Jesus is that one that had been promised. This is great news for the whole world.