Summary: Taking the Leap to something higher will require embracing the hard sayings of Jesus.
More than Murder
June 30, 2013
This is an interesting week in national news.
June 24, 2013 Paula Deen's Food Network career is toast after the network announced Friday that it would not be renewing the popular shows "Paula's Best Dishes" and "Paula's Home Cooking" after her contract expires at the end of June. Deen acknowledged in her deposition to sometimes telling jokes including racial slurs and seemed to struggle when asked if she considered jokes using the N-word to be "mean.''
June 26, 2013 Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been arrested and taken into custody by police, who are investigating the homicide of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, who was found shot execution-style about a half-mile from Hernandez's home.
If Jesus were here today, preaching to us themes form the Sermon on the Mount, he might likely group those two stories into the same message--a hard message about hard truths, hard sayings.
Like his original hearers many people today find Jesus' sayings hard. Some sayings are hard because they are difficult to understand. Others are difficult because the demands they make on us are only too clear. There are over seventy "hard sayings" that Jesus made.
P. S. Taking the Leap to something higher this summer will require embracing the hard sayings of Jesus.
A number of those sayings are found in the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain. For the next three weeks we will be examining three such "Hard Sayings."
21 "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
ILL: Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic, and religious author in the 19th c. He noted that when it came to some of the hard sayings of Jesus people tended to look at them in a dismissive way.
"Most people really believe that the Christian commandments (for example, to love one's neighbor as oneself) are intentionally a little too severe--like putting the clock ahead half an hour to make sure of not being late in the morning."
Did Jesus really mean this????? Or do we just read this and nod uh huh.
T.S. We need to break this passage down so there can be no doubt what Jesus is saying.
I. Anger--a layer issued
A. Inner issue
22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.
Orgizo -- root word
Provoked, exasperated, angry (inner issue of anger)
Jesus said it's subject to judgment (social people would rightly judge your attitude and actions as wrong)
B. Expressive issue
Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin.
Anger breaking forth in scornful words!!!