The Commandment At a Different Level
September 26 – The Commandment at a Different Level
Read Matthew 5:21-26
Jesus said that He had not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them. Jesus took the command not to murder and took it to the heart level. “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 insultshis brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”
A person cannot go through life without getting angry at someone at some time. It is natural and can even lead to closer relationships (see Eph. 4:26). If it is possible to get angry without committing sin, what is Jesus talking about?
Jesus is talking about a deep-rooted, seething animosity that would cause a person to take another’s life if unchecked. It is hatred seasoned with an unwillingness to reconcile a relationship. It is not just a desire to win an argument – it is a desire to destroy another person.
A Heart Issue
At the time of this writing, a couple was recently convicted of a brutal double murder. They killed a man and his wife in their home and showed no remorse for their heinous crime.
The murderers were apparently motivated by the fact that both of them had been molested as children and the male victim was a convicted sex offender who had served out a prison sentence. The murderers thought they had a divine assignment to kill sex offenders.
The murders were wrong. The anger that led to the murders was wrong.
That case is a modern day example of James 1:13-15, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
How can a believer be angry and not sin?
How can a believer be free from the control of vicious anger?