Truth Instead of Tradition

In that lesson of living and loving known as the Sermon on the Mount, the Master prefaced some of his teachings with the statement, "Ye have heard that it was said," and then continued, "But I say unto you."

Jesus did not draw this sharp contrast for oratorical effect, but for emphasis and heedful consideration. The first expression, "Ye have heard that it was said," is followed by the recital of the accepted law of the day, the moral law, the "Thou shalt not." The last expression, "But I say unto you," goes farther than the moral law, and analyzes motives rather than acts; it does not accept the seeming, but reverses traditional beliefs with spiritual facts. It establishes a new mode of thought, the scientific way. This new code in no sense belittles the Commandments. Indeed, Jesus declared his purpose was not to destroy the law but to fulfill it, that is, to bring it into full manifestation.

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