I had a good friend in high school who was one of the best in the state in the high jump. This is a track and field event where each competitor basically jumps over a bar and safely lands on the mat. My friend could jump higher that he was tall, 6’4”. Being curious one day during track practice, I decided to try the high jump. I set the bar low. When I jumped, I cleared half the bar only to knock it onto the mat directly where I was to land. It hurt quite a bit to land on the bar, which helped me decide to quickly end my high jumping career. It can be hard to clear the bar, especially if it has been raised. But raising the bar is how we get better. Striving to jump over a new height, working hard to accomplish a new goal, facing new challenges make us stronger.
Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount was constantly raising the bar. We can read numerous times His statement, ‘You have heard is said…, but I’m am telling you now…’ He took the past expectations from the Law and raised the bar. You have heard it said to now murder, but I am telling you don’t get angry. Resolve your problems quickly.
May we strive to follow Christ’s example, to live our lives to a higher standard, and to help others face the challenges of life.