Exodus 20:13 Thou shall not kill
Deut. 5:17 Thou Shalt not murder
- But I don’t murder people, you may say. Good. That fulfills the letter of the law
- But Jesus explained that hateful anger breaks this commandment (Matthew 5:21, 22)
- Have you ever been so angry with someone who mistreated you that for a moment you could “do someone in anger”?
- Jesus’ teaching concerning this law demonstrates that we are capable of murder in our hearts
- Even if we are legally innocent, we are all morally guilty of murder and need to ask God’s forgiveness
- We need to commit ourselves to the opposite of hatred and anger–love and reconciliation *1
Matthew 5:21, 22
21. 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
22. But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without 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
- When Jesus said, “But I say unto you,” he was not doing away with the Law or adding his own beliefs. Rather, he was giving a fuller understanding of why god made that Law in the first place.
- For example, when Moses said, “Thou shalt not kill,” (Exodus 20:13), Jesus taught, “Don’t even become angry enough to murder, for then you have already committed murder in your heart.”
- The Pharisees read this Law and, not having murdered, felt righteous. Yet they were angry enough with Jesus that they would soon plot his murder, though they would not do the dirty work themselves
- We miss the intent of God’s Word when we read his rules for living without trying to understand why he made them
- When do you keep God’s rules but close your eyes to his intent?
- Murder is a terrible sin, but anger is a great sin too becuase it also violates God’s command to love
- Anger in this case refers to a seething, brooding bitterness against someone. It is a dangerous emotional hurt, increased mental stress, and spiritual damage
- Anger keeps us from developing a spirit pleasing to God
- Have you ever been proud that you didn’t strike out and say what was really on your mind?
- Self-control is good, but Christ wants us to practice thought-control as well
- Jesus said we will be held accountable even for our attitudes *2
*1 Bulleted Thoughts from Life application Study Bible Notes on Deuteronomy 5:17, pg 314
*2 Bulleted Thoughts from Life Application Study Bible Notes on Matthew 5:21, 22, pg 1563