Re:Verse reading–Matthew 5:17-48 (day three)
“Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” It’s common to think of “kingdom of heaven” as a synonym for the afterlife. But Jesus is talking about life under the reign of God, whether that life takes place now or after we die. Jesus lived in the kingdom of heaven even as he walked the earth. Therefore, to live in the kingdom of heaven is to live–right now, not merely later–the kind of life that Jesus lives. That is the only kind of life that will last forever, and only Jesus–no other “righteousness expert”–can teach us that life. Part of what it means to “accept Jesus” is to become his apprentices so that he can teach us how to live under God’s reign.