Various Christian Obligations
This passage is a collection of four of Jesus’ sayings. These four sayings are rather loosely connected and pertain to obligations for disciples. Jesus tells us not to cause others to sin, not to hold a grudge when others sin against us, to recognize the power of faith, and to do our duty without fanfare. The first two sayings pertain to our relationships with our neighbors, and the second two pertain to our relations with God.
What is the common theme of these saying? Given the overall context, Jesus seems to be warning us not to be like the Pharisees. They typically violated all of these principles. They were leading people astray, they were unforgiving, they lacked faith, and they were proud. So Jesus is saying here, “Don’t be like the Pharisees.”
And these are important principles. Notice the first part of vs. 3: “Take heed to yourselves.” This is a warning; be careful about these things. Take heed, take note. Follow these instructions carefully.
These are statements about our relationships, both with people and with God. Do you want stronger relationships with people? Do you want to grow in your relationship with God? Then follow these instructions. These are obligations for disciples.