“You have heard that it was said,…but I say to you” (Matthew 5:43-44).
In five previous examples (Mt. 5:21,22; 27,28; 31,32; 33,34; 38,39), Jesus used the same phraseology as notification that things will not be as they once were. No longer will my followers be self-satisfied simply because they haven’t done certain things…murder, adultery, etc. Instead of settling for the least common denominator found in the letter of the Law, Jesus raises the bar to address the Spirit of the Law and the attitudes behind these acts against both humanity and God. It forces us to read the entirety of scripture in the light of our relationship with Him.