The Sermon on the Mount should not be seen as a catechism, but rather a powerful exhortation , intended to convince all who hear it to take heed and follow its practical imperatives and principles. We can say, “Well, I don’t murder people, I don’t commit adultery or perjury,” but it is deeper than that.
“ I don’t murder people.” We can destroy people in more subtle ways than murder; through hatred, defamation or slander. We can destroy a person’s good name by the wounding insult, by trivialising their self worth, by dropping suggestive & malicious hints about their character. We may not stab people in the heart, but we can stab them in the back. Do you know someone who respects people even if they disagree with them? That person is the Light & Salt of the world.
“I don’t commit adultery.” but what about infidelity of the heart? The fantasying, the toying with temptation through magazines or the internet, the disengagement from the life of the family that can dry up family life and separate peoples even if they are living in the same house. Legally, they are married, emotionally they are divorced. Do you know someone who is deeply committed to their family? That person is the Light & Salt of the world.
“I don’t commit Perjury”, avoid the need to swear an oath. The Lord says that our word should be clear & dependable in and out of court, not loaded with loopholes, half truths, mental reservations and crossing of fingers. In a world where human conversation becomes a games so that even though we know what people are saying we are not sure what they mean, Jesus is calling us to be people whose yes is yes & whose no is no. Do you know someone who is dependable & reliable? That person is the Light & Salt of the world.