April 6 - Matthew 5:21-22

Saturday, April 6, 2013

April 6 - Matthew 5:21-22

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

One of the first comparisons Jesus used was that of murder.  The Pharisees told the people that anyone who murders is liable for judgment.  When Jesus called his disciples to be more righteous than the Pharisees, he was ready with an example.

Murder is awful, but Jesus says that anger, insults and slander are just as awful, because in our hearts they are the same thing.  We can destroy people with our words and sometimes we are so ignorant of that fact.

When Jesus tells us to love with all that we have, his words aren’t just about loving people who are easy to love.  We have to put love into practice every day with our words and actions.  We have to make our own anger submissive to his love in our hearts.  We have to hold our tongue when we are ready to say hurtful things. We have to learn how to build people up, rather than cut them down to size.  We must love with all that we are … including the words we say.
If we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and was sent to rebuild the relationship between humanity and the Father in Heaven; we must believe Jesus when he says that anger, insults and slander will bring about the same judgment as murder.  We are responsible for our words.

“May the words of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).