Sermon- Love Is The Sweetest Thing, Matthew 5:38,44 sermons -- Sunday Sermons preaching resources

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Love Is The Sweetest Thing

You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth'...But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
Matthew 5:38-48

Sermon Topic Wineskins

Sermon Week Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 5:38,44


Long before Jesus' coming, ancient peoples had been using the skins of animals as liquid containers. In Palestine these containers usually were made from goat skin. The skin was stripped from the slaughtered animal with a minimum of cutting and then tanned into a pliable leather. The openings were tied and sealed and the end-product was a lightweight leather bag -- unbreakable -- ideal for carrying almost any liquid on a journey. In English the container usually is referred to as a "wineskin," even though it has been used from the beginning to carry water, milk and many other liquids besides wine.

"No man pours new wine into old wineskins," Jesus said to his disciples. "If he does so, the wine will burst the skins and both wine and skins will be lost. New wine is poured into new skins" (Mk. 2:22). The pressure of fermenting new wine would break a shriveled, old, dried-out wineskin and, as Jesus has said, both wine and wineskin would be lost. New wine must be poured into a container which is strong, and capable of expansion.

Jesus is using this figure to make the point that the old, rigid Judaism is unsuitable to receive His new teachings. Religion of the Spirit could not be contained within the structures of an unyielding, unpliable Religion of the Law. In the Law, God had given His People an enormous capacity for good. Now Jesus comes, in the Spirit, and man's capacity for good is expanded. Living under the new Law of Love, man's capacity for good is limitless. Jesus' Religion of the Spirit gives man the capacity, for example, of breaking through the boundaries imposed by the old law of vengeance.

Late one night, a cheerful truck driver pulled up to a road-side diner for some refreshment. As he was eating, three wild-looking motorcyclists roared up to the diner's entrance. The atmosphere became tense as they stalked in, wearing dirty leather jackets and swastika tattoos. Immediately, they selected the truck driver as the target of their meanness. One poured salt and pepper on his head. Another took [...]

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