THE WORDS OF JESUS
Creative, Causative, Prophetic, Instructional – Part 11
“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 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.” – The Words of Jesus, Matthew 5:21-22
Occasionally, I need to be reminded of what we are dealing with here. So, at the risk of sounding redundant, I ask once again, “What if The Word of God is true? I mean, what if His Words are literally true in ways we fail to recognize? People who personally encountered Jesus testified and reported on the Works He did, and this caused throngs to follow Him, stirred great controversies, created deadly conflicts and gave untold millions a greater hope for a new, vibrant, changed life, full of promise now and eternal hope of a home in heaven with God.
The Words Jesus spoke, and the Works Jesus did, changed the world.
I ask again, ‘what if we have been reading and misunderstanding what Jesus meant by His Words and the intentions of His Words? What if we have been misapplying what He taught? (Jesus was always concerned about His disciple’s lack of understanding and ‘lack of faith’.)
What if Jesus has been telling us how to actively engage His Word, so we could actually do His Works, and even greater works? (“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will you do, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12.)
I realize I am wading into a potentially controversial area, but I am not referring to some kind of religious mysticism or extra-Biblical teaching, heresy or religious nonsense. (I believe, practice and teach a reformed view of the Bible.) But I do believe a great majority of the church, the teaching and practices of the church and the results produced by the early church have waned if not disappeared completely.
Jesus is building a bridge for us to cross. He is building a bridge from the natural world to the spiritual world of the Kingdom of Heaven. He is building a bridge from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. He is not negating the Old Covenant. He is fulfilling it. Jesus is the New Covenant, and He is teaching, that is, The Word of God is teaching us (1), how to understand The Word of God, (2), how to revere and to properly fear The Word of God, and (3), how to perform The Word of God.
What is the PURPOSE for this? First, specifically read Daniel 12:8-10 and all of chapter 12 for the prophetic meaning of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5 through Matthew 11. We are to be purged, purified, cleansed, refined and restored by His Word and made into His children and disciples, made ready for the Kingdom of God. (John 15:3. Tells us that “we are made clean by the Word He has spoken.”
Therefore, in Matthew 5:22, when Jesus says, ” Everyone who is angry (orgizó = be angry, as expressing a “fixed anger”. “Sinful (unnecessary) anger” focused on punishing the offender rather than the moral content of the offense. See 3709 (orgē),
with his brother (adelphos = a brother, member of the same religious community, especially a fellow-Christian.) will be liable to judgment;
And, whoever says “you good-for-nothing” (rhaka = empty-headed. This term expressed contempt for a man’s head, viewing him as stupid), to his brother will be liable to the supreme court;
and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ (móros = a fool, a moron), to his brother, will be liable to the hell of fire.
Why is the offense of unrestrained, vengeful anger toward a brother or sister in Christ anger and resulting resentment, hate and denigration of a brother or sister in Christ so grievous to Jesus and the penalties so severe?
It is because this kind of anger is a great obstacle to entering the Kingdom of Heaven. Unless it is handled correctly, that is, the way Jesus teaches, your righteousness might not be ‘greater than that of the scribes and the Pharisees’. (“For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” – The Words of Jesus from Matthew 5:20)
Jesus gives the remedy which must be followed exactly if you are to escape the dreadful punishment that will inevitably follow:
“So, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24.
It is important to note that Jesus instructs us to consider not if we are offended, but if we have offended others, we are to leave our gift at the altar and make reconciliation.
This is the only way to remove the obstacle of anger and offense which will keep us from the Kingdom of Heaven! This is how we are made clean, purified of sin and restored in our relationship with God.
This is more than ‘right or wrong’, it is a matter of life and death! Spiritual life or spiritual death.
NOTE: Being ‘saved’ is not something we do. It is what God does for the sincere repentant man, women, boy or girl, who humbly repents from their former life and submits themselves to follow Jesus in His ways. What you DO after you are ‘saved’ reflects what God has DONE and is DOING in you now.
So, if you think you have been ‘saved’ by repeating a ‘sinner’s prayer’, but you have no desire to change your lifestyle and if in fact do not begin to change how you live which conforms to the life of Jesus, you probably are not saved and will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus completes His teaching on anger and reconciliation, once again with a strong warning of caution:
“Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.”
This is a metaphor, citing the process of a plaintiff, a judge and the courts. The accuser is a brother whom you have offended; the judge is God and your conscience; the courts are spiritual realms. But this metaphor contains the literal truth regarding a prison of your own making.
Hear the Word of God. Repent and be set free.
Your Brother and Friend,
NOTE: God loves you, and He is endlessly merciful. He sent His Son, Jesus, to save you. Jesus has told us that He did not come to condemn us, but to save us. (Sadly, we are condemned by our own unbelief).
Do you find yourself saying, “I try to not sin, but I sin, anyway? And, the cycle of worry and doubt and fear starts over again? You are not alone, and there is a Hope that will save you!
I have met Christians who have serious challenges with alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual addiction, kleptomania, homosexuality, and other habits of thought, behavioral habits or addictions, and most will either say “the harder I try, the worse it gets” or “I am better, but…” or, they find themselves having to live in the torment. I had found myself in this dilemma, once in my life.
There are the few who say they have been delivered from this torment and have been set completely free. How do they do that? How can I do that?
Please read this page: “SEPARATED FROM GOD?”
NEXT: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them? Part 12 – (“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. ” MATTHEW 5:28-29)
PREVIOUS: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them? – Part 10 – “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” – The Words of Jesus from Matthew 5:20