21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: 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. – Matthew 5: 21-22
It’s been a while since I wrote Murder as Defined by Jesus: Part 1. That article contained some generalized thoughts. Now, I want to look at the passages in more detail. This article looks at verses 21-22. There will be a Part 3 that considers verses 23-26.
I love how the righteousness of Jesus goes beyond our natural understanding. According to the laws of man, I have never done murder. According to the righteous standard of Christ, I have sinned in a manner that is on the same spectrum of sin as murder: being angry with my brother.
The “without a cause” statement baffles me a bit. There’s always a reason for getting angry, but most of the reasons are self-centered reasons or can lead to a feeling of self-righteous indignation. I do know some causes for being angry that are just. We should hate the things that God hates, and when these things are done without repentance, this is a just cause for anger.
Seven Things God Hates
16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. – Proverbs 6:16-19
These are causes for rebuke among the household of the faith, and when done to the destruction of others and the body of Christ, it’s fitting to be angry. It is fitting to be angry when we see these things happening in the social and political spheres of our society also. Yet, “be angry and sin not.”
How do we “be angry and sin not?” I think the first thing is to make sure that our anger is just—not justified by our own self-centeredness. Then, we should be on-guard against hypocrisy. If we are in these sins ourselves, then our focus should be inward first. Once we have the “beam out of our eye” then we can help another.
I also think we should strive to hold hope for all that they might repent, yet sometimes a sharp rebuke and a bit of trouble in this life are the only hopes a person—or entity—has at repentance. When we see the ministry of the Two Witnesses as seen in the last days (Revelation 11), I believe these things that God hates are motivating factors.
These abominations are linked to what Jesus is rebuking here.
It is pride that often leads to anger as one feels superior to another. Pride is also often rooted in pain and Jesus can heal this pain. Take a look at The Pain Behind The Pride. If we are filled with pride, it isn’t long before we are looking at someone through an unjust lens, leading to slander, murder, devising wicked plans, coverups and other forms of lying, and division.
It should not be among Christians—especially among the household of the faith.
If we so much as say a scornful word to our brethren without a just cause, then we are in danger of judgment. As Christians who are under the blood of Jesus, this will mean chastening. Thanks be to God, that if our faith is in Jesus, we do not have to face the fires of death for our murderousness.
However, I would like to avoid chastening of the Lord as much as possible.
This is why I’m taking the time to write the book on The 7 Churches of Revelation: These Things Saith He.
We have chastening coming and it is already here. It is building up as we neglect the teachings of Jesus—and in many ways, we don’t seem to see it. The Lord shows us by the Holy Spirit and those who He has given this message of repentance, and we should listen.
I don’t like when I see ministers and false prophets bullying people into going to church or listening to their message through fear or shame. Because of this, I don’t say that people have to listen to anything I write. This book will be necessary, at least for those who read it. “If I had not come and spoken to them, they had not sin, but now they have no cloak for their sin.”
Saying such a bold statement makes me uneasy, mostly because of what others would think, and I don’t want to cast a stumbling block by making a bold claim. Yet, it is the truth. Jesus grants authority to His faithful servants, and in this work, I have authority. I also have authority to work alongside my brethren, to take in their ideas and thoughts, to make a point: we are a body knit together in Christ and we should have no king over us but Jesus.
Our pride, anger, accusations, slander, and division among the household of the faith will not stand for much longer without serious rebuke. A house divided cannot stand, as Jesus says. The true body of Christ and His called out are not divided; we are one in Spirit. We all need to “come out of her” who leads to being otherwise—and “she” is found in every single Christian sect just as members of the true body of Christ in Spirit are found among every Christian sect.
“This ignorance God winked at” for a long time because it was needful so that we would not have one unjust ruler over us all, but the King of Kings will come, and we should be one with Him even as He and the Father are one (John 17). In being one, we will better stand against those who are also “of one mind and give their power and strength to the beast” Thanks be to God, that though they “make war with the Lamb, the Lamb will overcome them for He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.” Let us be “called, chosen, and faithful.”
We begin by repenting of our murders and abominations, first among the household of the faith, then we stand together against the murderous ways of the systems and kingdoms of this world as one who can see clearly, refuse deception, and speak the truth without hypocrisy and self-righteous indignation.
This article is part of a series that considers the Parables of Jesus. Right now, we are looking at the statements Jesus made during His Sermon on the Mount, to which He referenced in His Parable of the Building on Rock and Sand. Visit the link for quick access to all articles written within this series. Subscribe for notifications of future posts.