The more believers interact with others, the more opportunities for judgment arise. Regardless, as Kingdom citizens, they must guard against discriminatory judgments motivated by unjust or impure standards. To that end, Jesus addresses the issue of judgment and the Kingdom citizens. In doing so, He sets forth three admonishments — judge righteously, judge without hypocrisy, and judge responses to the Gospel.
Contextually, in Matthew 6, Jesus is not dealing with fear or anxiety. Instead, He confronts the issue of worry over one’s wealth. Hence, Jesus excursus in Matthew 6:25-34, is regarding worry and the Kingdom citizen. Primarily, He sets forth that Kingdom citizens should not worry over their prosperity, property, and possessions because God provides for one’s basic necessities.
Jesus begins His discourse upon the secular by addressing the issue of wealth and the Kingdom citizen in Matthew 6:19-24. He presents three different alternatives — two treasures, two conditions, and two masters. The chosen treasure, condition, or master determines whether the Kingdom citizens handle their wealth properly or improperly.
In Matthew 6:16-18, Jesus addresses the third righteous deed, the issue of fasting and the Kingdom citizen. Fasting is the most misunderstood righteous deed amongst Christianity at large. Responses to fasting include outright refusal on one end of the spectrum to engaging in fasting as a meaningless act of religious piety on the other end. Even amongst Evangelical Christians, fasting is often brushed under the rug while at the same time practicing giving and praying.
In Matthew 6:1, Jesus lays out a general principle for “practicing your righteousness” — do not practice righteous deeds to receive people's attention, applause, or adulation. To that end, He admonished believers to do their giving in secret and private. Now, in Matthew 6:5-15, Jesus addresses the second righteous deed, the issue of proper prayer and the Kingdom citizen.
James 2:18 states, “If, however, you are fulfilling the Royal Law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.” The verb fulfilling (teléō) means putting something into practice to accomplish a goal. As Jesus outlined in Matthew 5:43-48, the Kingdom citizen’s goal is loving others the same way God the Father loves all — indiscriminately and equally. Notably, God expects believers to love the hurting and helpless, as He does. Too often, believers overlook them because they see them as a burden. Worse, when believers do minister to the hurting and helpless, they do it for the applause or attention of people. Hence, before moving on from His corrections of Pharisaical misinterpretations of God’s Law, Jesus focuses upon the hurting, the helpless, and the Kingdom citizen in Matthew 6:1-4.
The progression of Jesus’ correction continues in Matthew 5:43-48. Whereas Jesus commands His followers, “Do not resist an evil person,” He now commands, “Love your enemies.” Here, Jesus corrects the misinterpretation of what James refers to as the Royal Law. The term royal (basilikós) means kingly. Hence, this particular Law is the Law of the King. Being the King’s Law, it is final and authoritative. James defines the “Royal Law according to the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (James 2:8). Specifically, as found in Leviticus 19:18, the Royal Law was the Law, which Jesus the King declared to be second only to loving God.
In Matthew 5:38-42, Jesus moves away from the Ten Commandments themselves and deals with a secondary law, the law of retaliation. It is necessary, at this point, to understand the structure of the Torah or the Law. The Law is primarily composed of the Ten Commandments. The secondary laws or ordinances apply the Ten Commandments to specific areas or cases. The law of retaliation, which Jesus addresses, is part of those ordinances that apply the Ten Commandments to daily life. As Jesus addresses the law of retaliation, He discusses the issues of retaliation, resistance, and the Kingdom citizen.
In Matthew 5:33-37, Jesus corrects the misinterpretation of the Third Commandment and the swearing of oaths. While swearing an oath may seem insignificant, that Jesus addresses the issue underscores that believers should give prayerful consideration to it. As Jesus reveals, the issue of swearing oaths is an issue of integrity and honesty in speech. Hence, every believer should heed Jesus discussion on swearing oaths and the Kingdom citizen.
Engaging people on divorce and remarriage is difficult due to the associated pain and guilt. Instead of passing judgment and adding guilt, believers must desire to see what God’s Word says on the issue. A Biblical view of divorce and remarriage will keep some from making bad choices, release those who have made bad choices from their guilt, and rescue those who have been maligned and sidelined by the teachings and traditions of men. In light of the dangers of the teachings and traditions of men, consideration should be given to what Jesus says about divorce, remarriage, and the Kingdom citizen.
In the final pericope of Matthew 2, three crises are presented — the threat from Herod the Great, the massacre of the innocent, and the threat from Archelaus. Each crisis is presented with the Messianic Child as the central figure. Hence, Matthew 2:13-23 presents the Messianic Crisis.
In establishing Jesus’ qualifications to be the Messiah, and by extension King, Matthew first set forth the Messianic chronicle in Matthew 1:1-17. The chronicle entailed how Jesus is both Son of Abraham and Son of David. As the greater Son of both Abraham and Davide, Jesus is qualified to be the Messiah because He is Jewish born and descended from David’s royal line.
Matthew then presented the Messianic confirmation in Matthew 1:18-25. The Messianic confirmation of Mary’s Child involved a twofold sign in fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14 — “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. The term sign (ʾôt) denotes a miraculous event performed by a divine being. According to Isaiah, the Child’s conception via a virgin and the name she gives to Him were divinely designed extraordinary events confirming that He is indeed the Messiah.
Next, in Matthew 2:1-10, Matthew provides the Messianic certification, again proving Jesus’ qualification to be the Messiah and, as such, King. Here, Jesus’ Messiahship is certified by three objects — the Star, the City, and the Magi.
Matthew 1 details the events of the birth of Jesus the Anointed King. If there is any doubt that Jesus is the Messiah, verses 18-25 focus upon the Messianic confirmation, specifically through two signs — the Virgin and the Name.
During His first advent, Jesus fulfilled three-hundred of messianic prophecies. Matthew, as one of Jesus’ disciples was an eyewitness to the fulfillment of many of these prophecies. Thus, he wrote his gospel record to demonstrate to the Jews that Jesus fulfilled those Old Testament Messianic prophecies. He was indeed their long-awaited Messiah and king. As such, Matthew begins with the all important Messianic chronicle. The chronicles will establish Jesus’ Messiahship and thus His kingship.
Jesus’ second correction of Pharisaical misinterpretation is found in Matthew 5:27-30 and regards the interpretation of the Seventh Commandment. He will explain that while the letter of the Law prohibits adultery, the spirit of the Law prohibits lust. As such, Jesus sets forth an excurses upon lust, marriage, and Kingdom Citizens.