Summary: In the cross, Jesus illustrates the relationship that we have with God (the vertical) and others (the horizontal). It appears that God places a much higher emphasis on the horizontal than we may realize.
1. [Angry Toddler https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_UVgmPDMRY
2. Matthew 5.21-24
a. Remember WE have offended someone in this Scenario
b. "Coping with difficult people is always a problem; especially if the difficult person happens to be you." -John Maxwell
3. Anger is one thing that Jesus describes, but he also gives us some key direction that he demonstrated for us
a. Questions about the cross -- was it a whole cross or just the cross beam? [Pics of cross in Jerusalem; crossbeam; tree with cross beam; was it attached to a stake or a tree? (Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us--for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"-- Galatians 3.13 cf. " a hanged man is cursed by God" Deuteronomy 21.23c)
(Curse of Law is condemnation because we cannot keep it -- Jesus did it for us and took our punishment/curse).
c. Horizontal aspect of the cross is a reminder of the relationship Jesus (and we) have with People -- For Jesus, this was the imperfect side
* Ire of the Jews
* Indifference of the Pagans
* Insecurity of the Disciples
4. Jesus bore the imperfections of the horizontal in order to remove them
I. The Heart FOR God in the Vertical
1. Expect to see it in worship
2. Seen in offerings and the altar at the temple
B. A Pre-requisite to Acceptable Worship -- Dealing with Others Properly
1. [Servant Leadership: It's not about "I" or "We," it is about "Them"
It was a sunny Saturday morning, and Joe was beginning his pre-shot routine, visualizing his upcoming shot when a voice came over the clubhouse loudspeaker - "Would the gentleman on the woman's tee please back up to the men's tee, please!"
Joe was still deep in his routine, seemingly impervious to the interruption. Again the announcement - "Would the man on the women's tee kindly back up the men's tee!"
Joe had had enough. He shouted, "Would the announcer in the clubhouse kindly shut up and let me play my second shot!"
I played golf as a teenager. I am very familiar with not being as far down the golf course as I am expected to be after my first shot! And sometimes, I'm not as far along spiritually as others think I should be. There are some others who are not as far along spiritually as I think they should be.
What is to be our attitude toward these "weak" brethren? Sometimes the situation calls for some words of gentle rebuke (Heb. 5:12-14). Sometimes the situation calls for patient forbearance (Rom. 14:1). In all things, our goal is to encourage and build up.
"We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up." (Romans 15:1-2).
2. God: "People are of more importance than gifts, even to him."
13 Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." (Matthew 9.13 cf. For what I desire is mercy, not sacrifices, knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. Hosea 6.6)