Relationship-killing anger

Great sermon yesterday morning on Matthew 5 vv 21-26; the bit in the sermon on the mount where Jesus talks about anger, and reconciling with each other before leaving gifts at the altar. The person preaching pointed out that this is the first of several sections that starts "You have heard it said... now I say to you...", which links it back to verse 17 where Jesus says he has not come to abolish the Law but to fulfil it - so the following sections teach his listeners how to obey the Law. He said that the Pharisees were all about 'list-ticking' to determine whether they were righteous, but that by their list-ticking they defined and controlled righteousness instead of hungering after it.

One thing that really stood out from the sermon is that it's all about relationships. In verse 22 where it talks about being angry with your brother and calling him a fool, the important point there is not the words 'you fool', but the fact that he is your brother. The words 'you fool' are just indicative of the attitude that breaks relationships. It's significant that they were told to restore relationships before making sacrifices at the altar - and that's a pretty big thing for a Jew at that time, since sacrifices were necessary for them to get right with God. Also, I'd never noticed in verse 23 that it says we are to reconcile with the person who has something against us, rather than the other way around... so really we're never off the hook! No matter who is in the right, we are called to seek reconciliation. Jesus died to bring us into relationship with God AND with each other, and we just can't ignore this. As was said in the sermon yesterday, "How can we be people who are totally reliant on grace but remain ungracious?"


Copyright © 2008 - cassa verba - is proudly powered by Blogger
Smashing Magazine - Design Disease - Blog and Web - Dilectio Blogger Template