Thursday, November 25, 2021
21-22 “You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother’ idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister, and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.
23-24 “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.
25-26 “Or say you’re out on the street and an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him. After all, if you leave the first move to him, knowing his track record, you’re likely to end up in court, maybe even jail. If that happens, you won’t get out without a stiff fine.
-Matthew 5:21-26 The Message
Verse 21: “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be answerable to the court.’
Verse 22: But I say to you that everyone angry with his brother shall be answerable to the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be answerable to the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
Verses 21-22 studies: Here is some context that Jesus was giving out. When he said, “I say to you,” he wasn’t doing away with the law or adding his own beliefs. He is giving a fuller understanding of why God made the law in the first place. Here is an example. In Exodus 20:13, Moses said, “You shall not murder.” Jesus’ teachings tell us we shouldn’t become angry enough to kill or to murder. At this point, if we feel this, we have already committed murder in our hearts. Now, the Pharisees read this law, and they didn’t commit murder; they felt righteous. But, they still felt angry enough with Jesus to plot his death, which by the way, they didn’t do the dirty work themselves. Often, we miss the intent of God’s Word after reading his rules for living without understanding the purpose of why he made the rules. When do you keep God’s laws but close your eyes to his intent?
We all know killing is a sin, but anger is a sin because it violates God’s commandment to love. Anger in cases prefers brooding, bitterness against someone. It is a dangerous emotion and can lead to things being out of control and possibly violence. Other things anger can do are emotional hurt, increased mental stress, and spiritual stress. Anger does not help develop any spiritual pleasing to God. Self-control is always good against saying things you really want to say. But Christ also wants us to practice thought-control. Jesus said we’ll be held accountable for our attitudes. Think about the things you wanted to say. Are there times where you were proud of being wise and being quiet?
Verse 23: Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you,
Verse 24: leave your offering there before the altar and go; first, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
Verses 23-24 studies: Any broken relationships can hinder our relationship with God. Whenever we have a problem or grievance with a friend. Resolve the issue as soon as possible. We are hypocrites if we claim we love God but hate others. Our attitudes towards others reflect our relationship with God (1 John 4:20).
Verse 25: Come to good terms with your accuser quickly, while you are with him on the way to court, so that your accuser will not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you will not be thrown into prison.
Verse 26: Truly, I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last quadrans.
Verses 25-26 studies: In Jesus’ day, someone who didn’t pay a debt was thrown into prison until the debt was paid. They would die in prison unless someone came and paid the debt. It is practical advice to resolve our differences with our enemies before anger causes more trouble (Proverbs 25:8-10). You may not get into disagreements that get you into court, but minor conflicts can mend easily. It is about peace in that instance. These verses show the way to a peaceful advisory with our brothers and sisters before we stand in front of God.
Father, I admit that I struggle with trying to mend relationships that I am angry with. I understand I can’t be saying I follow you and not represent you when I have trouble with a relationship. I currently have a few I have not been able to mend yet. I pray that the wisdom you gave me today can help me be more courageous to restore the relationships I have trouble with. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I pray all of you have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. God bless.