In Matthew 7, we read about not judging others. In fact Matthew 7:1 is quoted often by people in argument that Yeshua says,” judge not least you be judged.” That is exactly what that verse does say, in fact it goes on to say the following in verse 3-5.
Matthew 7:3-5 (NASB)
3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
I have been thinking about this log in my own eye. What is it, how do I know if I have a log in my eye?
As always if I keep reading the whole lesson of Yeshua in this beautiful sermon on the mountain, then I will better understand how I should love and treat others. I encourage you to read the whole sermon and really get a fuller understanding of what our Master Yeshua is teaching us. As you continue in chapter 7, you quickly realize that Yeshua wants us to learn and apply the teachings of the law and prophets. He tells the disciples and other listeners on the mountain, that if we seek Yehovah with all our heart, and we ask for wisdom from Him, He will grant it. He finishes this long teaching with a warning to not just make up our own rules, not to go on the pathway that is common, but that we must seek the narrow path. He says there will be many in the last days that claim to know Him, but He will say, “I do not know you.”
So, my next thought as I was pondering this passage in Matthew 7 was what about the Spirit of the Law versus the letter of the law. As we enter into the new covenant are we not now to abide by the Spirit not the Letter. So, I flipped over to 2 Corinthians 3 in my Bible were I knew this verse is located.
2 Corinthians 3:4-6 (NKJV)
4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Again, it is all about context. What is Paul saying in these verses?
This passage is a little tricky to understand. But when we remember that Paul is talking to a church of people who are being told that they can lose their eternal salvation found only in Messiah if they don’t obey the laws just so, then we get a better understanding. Paul is not saying that each man can decide for themselves what is best, that would be the exact opposite of everything we read in the entirety of the scriptures. But rather Paul, is saying, just as Yeshua said, seek first Yehovah and His Kingdom, and He will guide your heart and mind towards truth and understanding.
So, with these thoughts in mind, I decided to take a look at the ten commandments and really consider what the Spirit of the Law would be for each command. I wondered if I could find the answer in the teachings of Yeshua himself. So here is what I came up with.
I will warn you the spirit of the law is actually more challenging in my mind that the letter of the law.
I mean, it is a lot easier for me to check of the list and say, yep, I don’t murder, I don’t steal, I love God, I love my parents, and so on. But if I rethink these verses and look to the life of Yeshua, I realize the spirit of the law is all about loving God and people more than myself. It is about a life fully devoted to Him, with no room for my selfish desires. Yeshua, himself, gave us the ultimate example of obedience to the spirit of the law, when He chose to die for the sins of every man and woman. He loved His neighbor more than himself. So much so that He died for all of us. That is the Spirit of the Law, that we would be willing to die for a stranger, an enemy, anyone, so that they might have the opportunity to know Yehovah as their God.
Spirit of the Law Ten Commandments
- “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
- “You shall have no other gods before me.
- Luke 4
4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. 3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of [b]the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and [c]its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore if You [d]worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” 8 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”
9 And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; 10 for it is written,
‘He will command His angels concerning You to guard You,’
11 and,‘On their hands they will bear You up,
So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
13 When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.
This was a great example of Yeshua being in the Spirit and showing how even in the worst temptations and trials we must remain faithful to the Father, Yehovah, the one and only God.
- “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
- You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
- but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.
- Matthew 6
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!24 No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Here we see in that great sermon on the mountain that the spirit of the law is to put nothing ahead of God, not food, drink, money, house, car. Not even those things in which we think we need. Wow, this is a much bigger commandment when we realize anything and everything could be an idol.
- “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
- Matthew 12
22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”
24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul,the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”
25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.
30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Often this passage about misuse of God’s Holy name is misunderstood. This passage is not about saying, “Oh My God.” No, rather this commandment is about swearing by God’s name. It is about giving an oath. But here in the book of Matthew we again see Yeshua teaching a much greater commandment. He says we must guard our mouth in everything we say. Wow, this spirit of the law is getting really rather challenging. Now, I am starting to feel that log in my eye.
- “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
- Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
- but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
- For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
- Matthew 12
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”
3 He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5 Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? 6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. 7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’[a]you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
9 Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.
Sadly, many people do not realize that the seventh day Sabbath was never taken away. Many believe that Yeshua taught that we don’t need to keep this day of rest. I would challenge you to look up every Sabbath scripture in the Bible and see if this is true. But what is true is that Yeshua taught that Sabbath is a gift from Yehovah to us. Sabbath was made for man, God does not need a day of rest, yet He created one for us, His people. In the passage in Matthew we see that Yeshua makes it clear that resting on Sabbath is not a selfish act, rather it is still a day to put others above ourselves. The Spirit of this law is learning to trust Yehovah in all things, and to put others before our self. Same as all other laws. This is cool how all the commandments are the same.
- “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
- Matthew 15
- 3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— 6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”
Wow, this is so amazing how all these teachings of Yeshua expound over and over on the commandments given to Moses. Here in Matthew 15, Yeshua makes a clear statement that if you think your obeying God, but it causes you to disrespect, harm, or neglect someone else, especially your parents (family), then you are NOT obeying the commands of Yehovah. The Spirit of this law is people matter, especially family. Obeying God is respecting and honoring your parents, spouse, and elders.
- “You shall not murder.
- Matthew 5
- 21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
I really have nothing to add on these next few. All I can say is wow, the whole sermon on the mountain is awesome. If we really truly want to understand and live like our Messiah, we really need ot study the book of Matthew over and over until it takes hold in our lives.
- “You shall not commit adultery.
- Matthew 5
- 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
Again more teaching from the mountain. Yeshua taught every lesson we need for life on that mountain. Sadly, as my husband and I have counseled many of couples, we find there is a great deal of pornography in the Christian world. If we read this we clearly understand that pornography is NOT ok, ever. Sin according to Yeshua is equal. It is written in the scriptures if you fall in obeying even one law, you have broken all the laws. This means Hebrew teaching means, don’t compare yourself to someone else. We all sin and sin is sin. No one is more righteous than another, we are equally saved by grace.
- “You shall not steal.
- Matthew 5
- 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[c] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[d] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
People are more important than possessions. Always, every time!
- “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
- Matthew 5
- 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Even our enemies and those who do evil to us, are more precious to our Creator than our reputation.
- “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
- Matthew 5
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Again people matter most!
After doing all this research and study. I am in awe of how Yeshua taught us so much about how to love Yehovah and others as we should. This study was so fun and amazing to me. I hope it blesses someone else as much as it did me.