Jesus Extends our Relationship to the Law
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother[c] will be liable to judgment; whoever insults[d] his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell[e] of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 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. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
Jesus does not abolish the law. Jesus fulfills the law. Jesus teaches us to examine the law in our hearts and work on the desires that would cause us to break the law to begin with. People who are not angry seldom murder!
- Murder and Anger
96% of all murderers are men
79% of all people murdered are men
80% of people murdered in 1988 were killed by someone who knew them. Should we be afraid of strangers?
16% of people murdered are killed by an immediate family member.
17,000 people approximately were murdered in the US in 2018.
- The root desire of murder is anger
Cain kills Abel. He was “very angry” In Cain’s case it is jealousy of Abel and the resulting competition in his own heart. Because Abel did well and Cain did not, Cain was angry. There is the lack of willingness to look inside. Drugs and alcohol can inhibit the ability to manage impulse control.
Anger can have various sources. Typically it’s fight or flight. Either you are treated by someone in a way that creates fear (flight) or opposition of some sort: Disrespect, attack, resistance, irritation etc.
Anger provides us with energy. But it is most often destructive energy. Some people really feed of the energy of anger and they invent things to be angry about. This is very destructive to relationships. There are many people around who express Cain’s jealous attitude.
- It is easy to be angry at family
Cain was angry and killed his brother.
Rivalry, jealousy, bullying, specific skillful irritation. A lack of consideration.
We know each other’s flaws. We know how to pick on each other. We let offenses stack up.
- Respect the image of God!
In Genesis 9: 5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.
6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image.
- Resolve Your Anger without Killing
- Believe in God’s image
22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
We make room for murder when we do not treat people with the proper respect. And there may be good reasons for doing so. But God tells us to not do it!!
Do not dehumanize!
Women, Slaves, People of a different sexual orientation, People who think differently, People of different religions, People who have injured you, People with disabilities, People who are not born yet.
- Do not escalate
Take a minute. Take a breath. Find a third party.
James 1: 19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
If you find yourself confronted by someone who loves and feeds on conflict. Go away.
- Do not trust your emotions.
They are real, but they are not king.
James 4: What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions
I have had some real success in counseling people at odds with each other by just telling them that they had to submit to each other and make a decision. It’s weird. We can be so naturally competitive. And when we expect to be able to do something and then cannot do it, we can be very angry. It’s like our freedom is being stolen from us. We have to learn to voluntarily submit and not assume in relationships. Communication, with the intent of being honest without removing love is key!
III. Make Friends not Enemies
- Resolve broken relationships
23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Apologize for what you have done. This relates to your behavior.
Own your own emotions. Others have not made you feel any sort of way.
“When you did this, I had this reaction.”
“When you do not apologize, I have difficulty trusting you.”
- Don’t assume you are in the right
25 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. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
It is easy to have blind spots. It is easy to have misunderstandings. It is easy to hurt one another. It is easy to be selfish. It is easy to project rejection. The person in this example either refused to communicate and work through the issue, desiring to be right above all, or else they are just oblivious. Neither are good.
- Trust God to be God
If you are wronged forgive
Leave room for the wrath of God
God promises to repay.
God knows. God cares. God will handle things. You belong to God and you can be confident that He will judge