TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17
Scripture: Exodus 20:13, Matthew 5:20-26
In Exodus 20:13 we are told, “You shall not murder.” Jesus extended that definition in the New Testament in Matthew 5:20-26 which says, “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘Raca’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.’” It does not say that if you are angry with a cause not to enter into judgment, it says without a cause! It is specifically dealing in this passage with how we respond to a ‘brother’. We are told that if we bring our gift to the altar and there remember that we have something against a brother we need to go and straighten it out. Jesus added a number of qualifiers to commandment number six that bears looking at in the New Testament. How we respond determines liability!