Summary: Jesus expects us to control our temper


In verses 21-48 Jesus gives us six examples of how our righteousness can exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees.



A. KJV. “By." Attacking the present interpretation of the 6th commandment.

B. NASB. “To." Jesus is speaking of the Law itself.

1. Both ways are valid translations of the word.

C. The religious leaders had thought that if they did not kill a person, then they were righteous in God’s sight.

1. MATTEW 23:25-26 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. "You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

D. Jesus quotes Exodus 20:13, “Thou shall not kill." This means taking the life of another with malice and aforethought

E. Statement of the obvious. Liable before the court. Court in each town.

1. Send Case to Sanhedrin.

2. Confine to city of refuge.

3. Executed by sword or strangulation.


A. The Old Testament Law dealt with outward actions whereas Jesus wants a heart change. It is easy not to kill, but what about hate, malice and anger.

B. As the people stood by and listened, they had to be amazed, I can be judged for what is in my heart?

C. As we look at this message and the ones coming up, we really need to understand that outward appearance is not all that God looks at, we will make an account for what is in our hearts.

A. ATTITUDES. Verse 22.


1. Angry. Silent anger. 1 JOHN 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. RIGHTEOUS ANGER (John 2:14-16. Money changers)

2. “Racca." Hateful railing speech, in silent contempt of. Contempt for a man’s head.

3. “You fool.” Cast bitter reproach at his brother because of a fixed and settled hatred. Contempt for his heart and character.

a. Anger is a form of murder because its desire is to destroy anyone who blocks our paths to satisfaction or assaults us or who makes us look bad.

b. 1994 23,305 homicides according to the FBI, a 22% increase since 1985.

1. The notion that the increase is from gang and drug violence is a myth. In 1994 the most common reason for homicide was an argument, representing 28% of all homicides, most occurring at home. The FBI report states that drug and gang killing account for only 7% and .6% respectively.


1. All three of these will incur some level of judgment. Jesus uses the Jewish legal system as an illustration for us to grasp. Sanhedrin. The punishment itself.

B. ACTIONS. Verses 23-26.


a. If your brother has something against you, then you go to HIM. How often will you see this in church!

b. You are called to do all you can to make things right.

When Leonardo da Vinci was painting the Last Supper, he had an intense, bitter argument with a fellow painter. Leonardo was so enraged that he decided to paint the face of his enemy into the face of Judas. That way the hated painter’s face would be preserved for ages in the face of the betraying disciple. When Leonardo finished Judas, everyone easily recognized the face of the painter with whom Leonardo quarreled.

Leonardo continued to work on the painting. But as much as he tried, he could not paint the face of Christ. Something was holding him back.

Leonardo decided his hatred toward his fellow painter was the problem. So he worked through his hatred by repainting Judas’ face, replacing the image of his fellow painter with another face. Only then was he able to paint Jesus’ face and complete the masterpiece.

a. VERSE 25-26. Talking about a legitimate complaint with you.

1. In Jewish system, the accuser would take the accused to court.

2. Is Jesus telling us to reconcile before it is too late? Reconcile before we stand before the judge?

d. This part of the passage gives us a way to right the wrong. This verse gives s a plan to follow whenever we mess up and allow ourselves to kindle hatred in our heart toward a person.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes we get angry and remain bitter with people and actually forget why we’re so upset? Take, for example, the notorious Hatfield-McCoy feud.

It hit newspaper front pages in the 1880’s, when the Hatfield clan feuded with the McCoy clan from across the border in Kentucky. Historians disagree on the cause of the feud -- which captured the imagination of the nation during a 10-year run. Some cite Civil War tensions: McCoys sympathized with the Union, Hatfields with the Confederacy. Others say it began when the McCoys blamed the Hatfields for stealing hogs. As many as 100 men, women and children died.

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