Angry Enough to Kill (12 of 26) by Jonathan McLeod

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Angry Enough to Kill (12 of 26)
Series: Kingdom Life
Jonathan McLeod
Matthew 5:21-22

''You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' 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'' (Matt. 5:21-22).

SCRIPTURE READING

In Matthew 5:21-48, Jesus describes what he means by a righteousness that ''exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees'' (v. 20). He desires that his followers have a righteousness that goes deeper than merely obeying the rules. He repeatedly says, ''You have heard that it was said'' (vv. 21, 27, 33, 38, 43), and then he declares, ''But I say to you'' (vv. 22, 28, 32, 34, 39, 44). Jesus is not con-tradicting the OT law; he is correcting a misunderstanding of it.

[Read Matthew 5:21-26.]

IS ANGER THAT BAD?

Why did Jesus teach that anger was such a serious sin? He compares anger with murder and says that if we are filled with anger against another person, we are ''liable to the hell of fire'' (v. 22).

If we are filled with anger against another person, we have a MURDEROUS heart.

There are degrees of anger. There's a difference between the anger of a murderer and the anger of a father who yells at his son. Jesus is talking about an intense kind of anger. If we have this type of anger, we are like a murderer in two ways.

First, if we are filled with anger against someone, we desire harm to come to that person. An angry person longs for revenge. He would commit murder if he could get away with it.

Second, if we are filled with anger against someone, we don't value the life of that person. Genesis 9:6 says, ''Who-ever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.'' Premeditated murder was punishable by death because human life is precious to ...


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