This verse is taken from:
Matthew 5. 21-26
Thought of the day for:
10 July 2024

Every Jew would know the commandments. Not only were they taught them but their whole religious life revolved around them. However, what the Lord would teach went beyond the external. The sixth commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill’, v. 21, was not just to stop people from murdering one another. God wanted them to refrain from the hatred that leads to murder.

The development of the Lord’s teaching is given in the three steps of verse 22. First, there is anger. It is to be noted that this anger is ‘without a cause’, what J. N. Darby translates as ‘lightly angry’. It suggests an anger that is intense but a cause that is flimsy at best. This inward malice then leads to an outward expression, ‘Raca’, ‘a term expressing complete contempt, ascribing intellectual emptiness of mind’, J. Heading. In the downward slide out of control the third step is to call the offender ‘fool’. The strength of the comment is, ‘a godless, moral reprobate’, W E. Vine.

There are two contexts that the Lord uses to illustrate the need to resolve differences before they become more serious. The first is the religious and the second is the legal. Anger that has fomented disagreement and division, leaving matters unre­solved, will affect our spiritual lives. We cannot worship effectively when we have caused a breakdown of fellowship with a brother. But in our metaphor for today, the Lord bids His hearers think about the legal consequences of their actions.

It is possible to imagine that the cause which has prompted our anger is a just one. We can be convinced that we are in the right and our opponent wrong. Such is our conviction that we are making our way to court to resolve the matter and to have our case upheld. The cautionary words of the Lord propose a resolution of the case out of court - ‘agree with thine adversary quickly’. Grasp the opportunity. Settle the issue. Once the legal processes are set in motion the consequences become serious and uncompromising.

What practical lessons there are in the Lord’s teaching! How important to keep control of our passions. How essential to resolve differences quickly and maintain fellowship.


Your Basket

Your Basket Is Empty