November 10, 2022

But I Say to You

Written by Tripp Prince

Jesus gave his entire self upon the cross so that nothing less than your entire self could be healed.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 10, 2022

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” Matthew 5:21-22a, NKJV

There are cultural and societal norms that become so deeply engrained in us that we accept them with little to no thought. “Wash your hands before dinner.” “Save more than you spend.” “Open the car door for your date.” “Bring snacks for your kid’s soccer team.” “Show up to work on time.” On and on we could go. These actions and thousands more like them add up to a decently ordered and respectable society. And this ordering is good and right, yet stops short of the change of heart that our Lord longs for us to encounter.

In Matthew 5, Jesus directly confronts the accepted values and norms of society, inviting his listeners to reframe and reorient all that they believe to be true. Notice that he doesn’t do away with these values! As he himself says, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets” (Matthew 5:17). Christ in no way is upending the established teaching of his day. Murder is still murder. Adultery is still adultery. A lie is still a lie. Yet as he often does, Jesus here is pressing to the root sickness that lies behind such actions, unseen yet no less present or dangerous. 

Jesus gave his entire self upon the cross so that nothing less than your entire self could be healed.

He isn’t simply seeking to change your actions, though of course this is a part of it! His heart is grieved whenever any part of you remains enslaved to the values of this broken world. And he also knows that we are integrated beings and our internal motives and external behavior are inseparably connected, a truth that we are all too prone to dismiss or ignore.

For us to experience the total transformation of which he speaks, we must be willing to daily reassess our assumptions about the world in light of his teaching and truth. “You have heard that it was said…but I say to you.” We do not have to search far and wide for the “you have heard that it was said” truths and teachings in our world. These are in the air we breathe and built into the fabric of our society. However, one can go their entire life without ever tuning their ear to the “but I say to you” truths of the gospel, and it is to these beliefs that our entire lives must be devoted. 

Jesus Christ is speaking the truth of his Kingdom to you and to me, inviting nothing less than the complete transformation of body and soul. Are we listening and will we obey?


Father, give us ears to hear your word to us, especially words that reveal the true nature of your Kingdom and how we are meant to live within it as faithful citizens, we pray through Christ our Lord.


Take time today to prayerfully read the whole of Matthew 5.

Related Reading

Jeremiah 24:7; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 2:29

Worship Resource

Hillsong Worship: Who You Say I Am


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