You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

Matthew 5:21-22  

Many in Christ’s day had misapplied and misinterpreted the Scriptures to fit their own agendas.  Jesus brought His hearers back to the true intent of the law in order that may hear it and apply it appropriately.

Let us think in this lesson about proper human relationships. Jesus deals with various areas of human existence in this Scripture passage. Let us examine them with our Bibles open and our minds engaged.

Exodus 20:13 tells us murder is wrong. God’s command in the Decalogue is clear. Even those who reject Christianity consciously know that murder is immoral.

Jesus takes this command to the next level. He declares that not only is physical murder sinful, but, He equates thoughts of hatred with murder and declares that those live in hatred will be judged. 

Jesus teaches us an important principle about interpreting the Law of Moses in this Sermon. He heralds the fact that the law not only judges our outward actions, it also judges our inward thoughts. Our private thoughts are subject to God’s adjudication as well as our outward actions.

Anger will happen in this life. We are called to deal with it quickly so that it doesn’t become a stronghold of sinfulness. (Ephesians 4:26) Crying “Raca” (which means empty-headed one) may make us feel good in the moment. But holding on to anger can damage us greatly in our life with Christ. Deal with it.

Tony French


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