Summary of passages: Matthew 5:21-26: Jesus says if you murder you will be judged. And if you are angry with your brother you will be judged. Jesus says to reconcile with your brother first and then offer a gift at the altar. Then settle matters with your enemy before you end up in court.
1 John 2:7-11, 3:10-24: You are not in the light if you hate your brother. If you hate your brother, you are in the darkness. You are a child of God if you do what is right and if you love your brother. Thus, love your brother even though the world may hate you because of it. If you do not love, you remain in death and will have no eternal life.
Since Jesus laid down his life for us, we ought to do the same for our brothers. We must love with actions and truth, helping those in need. We must believe in Christ and love one another so that we live in him and he in us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
5a) Deuteronomy 5:17
b) Jews applied it literally to anyone who physically murdered someone. Here, Jesus says we commit murder when we do not love. We also commit murder when we do so in our hearts. When we are so angry towards someone, we do things to hurt them over and over again. Thus, we need to love our brothers.
6) Personal Question. My answer: 1 John 3:15: Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer and thus will not receive eternal life. This shows us just how powerful Jesus’ command is to love one another.
7) Personal Question. My answer: We should reach out to those whom we have differences with in order to reconcile those differences. Do not grievances or anger fester.
8 ) The overarching theme is forgiveness and reconciliation. Your disagreements imprison you. You are a slave to hatred, contempt, anger, and bitterness that your whole life is affected to the point you are doing no good for His kingdom. Your life becomes jaded and you are no longer able to perform God’s purpose for your life here on earth.
Talk to those whom you have differences with before it gets to the point where a judge must decide because in the end this will only cost you more. Think of divorce settlements that go to arbitration. Anytime you let someone else have control you give up something. Take it upon yourselves to forgive and reconcile with people before it’s too late. It may cost you more than money like a relationship as well.
Matthew 5:7: “Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.”
Conclusions: Great emphasis on the importance of love and forgiveness in our lives. 1 Corinthians 13:13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these if love.” The bible repeatedly talks about loving others (especially the New Testament) and it’s so easy not to in this world full of self-seekers out for themselves.
If you don’t love others, you might as well be murdering them. That is my interpretation at least. Nurture, forgive, and reconcile. For life is too short to hold grudges and be a Scrooge. Engage with others and you shall be rewarded.
End Note: As we embark upon Jesus’ teachings, try to keep in mind Jesus is not against Moses here. Jesus is against the Pharisees and scribes and their interpretations and limitations they placed on the law. He is, in essence, re-establishing the law as God meant it; not as man has meant it.
We must remember that 99% of the population of the ancient world could not read. All they knew was what they were told by the priests and they had to take that as God’s word. Thus, the possibility for corruption was rampant here. Hence, Jesus is now teaching them himself what God’s word truly says. (If you are reading Killing Jesus, this is explained in much the same way on page 157).
Raca, again, another word lost in translation. Here, it really means the attitude behind the word. Where you are so angry at someone you despise them and wish them dead. My study bible describes it as contempt.