Matthew 5:21-22 ” Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgement: But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgement: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Jesus begins to draw a definite distinction between the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees and the true righteousness that citizens of the Kingdom of God must strive to attain. Israel looked to the scribes as religious leaders, the most truly righteous of the nation. But the many confrontations with Jesus shows them to be full of hypocrisy and lovers of praise and honor of men. Read Matthew 15:1-9, Mark 12: 38-40. In the eyes of man they looked great but when they set themselves or compared themselves to Jesus the Word of God, there true wickedness was shown. Jesus proceeds to better define what exactly true righteousness is by clear and painful examples. He begins with the 6th commandment, thou shalt not kill. He begins to teach the law of Christ. He says you have heard the law of Moses but I’m here to tell you the law of Christ. This was the fulfillment of the law that we spoke about in the last blog. So in other words It was said to you by God through Moses of old time but I say unto you, I am God’s new utterance, I am the better covenant. What was it they had known of old, that if the sin of not killing was abstained from, as long as they didn’t strike the final blow, as long as they didn’t kill in cold blood, that they were righteous in the eyes of the law. But Christ says murder is deeper than that, murder begins with a seed in the depths of the heart. 1 John 3:15 “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” Christ is getting to the root cause of the problem. So we see the act of murder is not the only thing to be judged but the seed of murder also. Christ says the first sin of murder is silent hate or anger. These are the ones who nurse their feelings, they keep it on the burner, they meditate and constantly think on it. People who because someone did something to them 20 years ago will not forget it. The second thing he says whosoever shall say to his brother Raca shall be in danger of the council. This is murder with words, empty words. Today’s language it would be calling someone good for nothing. Breaking people down with words, destroying their self-image. We as Christians really need to think about this the next time we start to make fun or talk about someone. Not only is it hate, it is murder. Many of people’s character has been assassinated and murdered by another child of God. So Christ tells us don’t silently hate your brother and don’t verbally kill your brother. But the third thing is don’t verbally curse them. Literally wishing that a person would be dead. A believer should never curse another, use violent words against one another. As Christ says you will be in danger of hell fire. Human hearts cannot try the heart, so Jesus teaches us that the real danger in such anger and hatred lies in judgement not of man but before the Almighty God. None of us have probably ever murdered physically another person. But what about with our words? It’s painful but true.