Sunday, September 30, 2007

Part 5 - Jesus and Anger


We’ve been going over the life of Jesus to gain better understanding of the Great Commission.

We’re looking at the first recorded Sermon of Jesus which took place approximately 1 – 1 ½ years after His baptism.

We studied last week that Jesus has not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it.

He fulfilled it in the way He lived, keeping the commandments, and He fulfilled the prophecies about His birth, life, death and resurrection, and He fulfilled the requirement of the Law with His atoning sacrifice.

This is the atoning sacrifice that makes relationship with our Father in heaven possible.

Today we are going to look at verses 21 – 24 in Matthew 5 where Jesus addresses anger.


MATTHEW 5:21-24

21 You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

23 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.


Various translations exist of the sixth commandment; the Hebrew words are variously translated as "thou shalt not kill" or "thou shalt not murder".

Older Protestant translations of the Bible, those based on the Latin Vulgate and Roman Catholic translations usually render it "Thou shalt not kill", whereas Jewish and newer Protestant versions which use the critical text instead of the textus Receptus or the Latin Vulgate, tend to use "You shall not murder".

The Hebrew word for "kill" is - "harog", while the Hebrew word for "murder" is - "retzach".

The Hebrew word which is found in the Old Testament is - "lo tirtzach".

So the accurate translation of the Hebrew and the commandment IS “Thou shalt not commit murder.”

Jesus clarifies which word is used in the Hebrew for us as well in the Greek when He says in Matthew 5:21 “ou-phoneuo” which means “do not murder”

What does this matter?

To kill and to murder are 2 different things.

To kill may happen in defense of your home, your family or your country.

We see many examples where God’s people were instructed by God to war against others.

Killing took place.

But to murder, as Cain did, or King David did, and so on, murder is different.

And this is why I point this out, because it happened more than once to me.

When sharing your faith with others, you may meet with someone who will challenge your belief and understanding of the scriptures.

We are instructed to “always be prepared to give an answer to our faith”, which only comes from a constant reading and studying of God’s word.

If you were to say to someone, “and the 10 commandments say – thou shalt not kill…”

And the person you’re talking with says, “Then why did God have His people kill so many others in the Bible?”

Because God did not say thou shalt not kill, He said thou shalt not murder.


So we see Jesus referring to the Law that He just told us a few verses before, He did not come to destroy but fulfill.

The Law of Moses.

And He says to those listening, who know the Law, “you have heard it was said thou shalt not murder, who ever commits murder shall be in danger of The Judgment. BUT I SAY TO YOU,”

Jesus tightens the belt on understanding here.

Remember last week when Jesus talked about those who “loosen the law”.

Verse 19, “Whoever shall break one of the least of these commands…”

Remember the literal Greek does not mean break, but to loosen.

People loosen the Word of God, Jesus tightened it back up.

Jesus wants us to understand, and so He tightens the law here.


Because at this time the Pharisees thought that they were righteous and right with God, as so many do today.

This is called self-righteousness.

They believed they had no need for a savior.

They believed they were right with God.

So Jesus wanted them to see that you can not keep the Law, which is why there is a Law, to show the need for Jesus Christ to be a savior.

Christ giving us the true interpretation of the Bible, the Bible is the Word, and Christ the Word made flesh.

“I SAY TO YOU, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment…

Unjust anger, or hate, against a brother is the same as committing murder.

Have you ever felt that way about someone?

Why does Jesus place unjust anger in the same category with murder?

Because they both come from an evil heart.

We are supposed to be the light of the World…showing God’s love, not man’s hate.

And Jesus continued;

, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Raca means “O empty one” or “You worthless…” it was meant as a cut down, something mean and vindictive to say about someone.

And the Greek word for fool is moros…where we get our word moron.

The Sanhedrin was the keepers of the Law and justice, and Jesus was saying you may beat the system or earthly law if you break the least of the commandments, such as Jesus’ command to love your neighbor, but you will not beat the Judgment of God.

Man may, and do, beat justice in a human court of law, but will never do so in God’s Court of Law.

We are held accountable to the commandments of Jesus, not the Law, and Jesus instructs us to do all He commanded, and we are also held accountable to “every idle word on the day of Judgment”. Matthew 12:36

So we are not to have anger without cause Jesus said.

So what is Just anger?

Jesus was angry with those in the temple when they were using the temple for their personal gain instead of bringing people close to God.

Just anger is the abuse of people, God’s Word, Laws against those who follow Christ.

There are plenty of things that can cause Just anger in us today.

There are many injustices happening every moment of the day and night.

Look at how many times God was angry with Israel.

Jesus looked upon Jerusalem and cried in frustration because they would not turn to Him.

But sometimes we just don’t like people.

Because of their personality, or maybe because of their race, or maybe because of their financial state, upper and lower class thing, sometimes we don’t know why.

And just because we may be able to come up with a reason in our minds, does not make that reason just…

We cannot be that way.

How can we be the Light if we repel people?

How are we showing the Love of God to a dark world if we do not love others?

Especially the lost…

Jesus did not come do condemn, but to save.

Are we saving? Are we leading others to Christ?

Who are we supposed to be leading to Christ? THE LOST…

How can we do that if we are constantly condemning and attacking and judging the lost?

Why do we condemn and attack and judge the lost? SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS.

We think we’re something…

We need to remember that we are no different than the lost with one exception.

We recognized our need for a savior.

And it’s ONLY by His grace we are saved! Nothing we did.

We need to flush that self-righteous behavior down the toilet where it belongs.

Or is it that we think we have a right to pick and chose who we share the Love of God with?

Who deserves to receive God’s grace.

Did Christ not die once for all?

Does He not deserve every single person on earth that He suffered and was tortured and died on the cross for?

Who are you to say you may come and who stays?

And if we were to look at you and judge you one day before you received Christ as your savior, what then?

Were you deserving of the Kingdom?

I’ll tell you right now, even if you have Jesus Christ, you are NOT deserving of the Kingdom of God.

But that is what is so beautiful about God, that He loved us so much, that He gave His only Son to be the sacrifice so that we may have that relationship with the Father once again.

Remember, it IS God’s will that all are saved!

I would not want to be the one who stands in the way of God’s will, or in the way of God trying to reach His people.

The Pharisees stood in the way, and God removed them.

Jesus called them the synagogue of Satan because of their self-righteousness!

Do not find yourself standing between God and His people.

Those in the Temple were, and Jesus, with just and righteous anger, cleared them out.


Jesus continues by telling us what happens when we do have anger for our brother.

He says;

If you bring your gift to the altar, and remember that someone has reason against you to be angry (That is, you have given someone JUST CAUSE to be angry with you), leave your gift at the altar, go, and first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Jesus is telling us here that the Lord will not accept our gifts unless we do all in our power to make things right with the ones we have offended.

Make every effort to bring reconciliation, if at all possible.

Worship will not be accepted by the Lord if we have wronged our brother, and have not done all in our power to make amends.

We can not make those who wronged us make things right, we forgive and move forward.

But if we wrong another, we need to make it right.


Jesus has shown us that our anger towards others is as dangerous as murder.

He has showed us that though we may beat the legal system run by man, there is no way to beat the system of God, and we will face Judgment.

If we harbor unjust anger or hate toward our brother, we are as Jesus says, in danger of the fire of hell.

The Greek Word for Hell fire Jesus used here is Gehenna, and anytime Jesus used this word, we know it is a reference to the final Hell, eternal pit for those who are judged.

If we have wronged someone, we need to make it right.

Otherwise God will not receive our prayers or gifts or our offerings.

We need to be reconciled with our brother.

But first and foremost, we need to be reconciled with God.

And this can only come through a relationship with Jesus Christ.


No comments: