More than this, though, Jesus is a great teacher in Matthew. It is no accident that Jesus' most famous teaching, the Sermon on the Mount, is emphasized in Matthew. This long sermon echoes the teaching of Torah, the Jewish law. However, Jesus expands on this law, explaining that God cares as much about motivations as actions. Speaking of murder, Jesus teaches that God cares as much about the anger that leads people to kill as the act of killing.
This can be a hard teaching for us. We often worry about how we appear to others or about simply getting the job done (figuring that the ends justify the means). However, God cares very much about the means and making them good motivations, instead of bad ones. Or as Jesus says, more than once in Matthew, what is on the inside is more important than what is on the outside of a person.
Click here to listen to the sermon.
You can also listen to the related Communion meditation and benediction.