Summary: Anger is something that can ruin your life. It is the root of murder and should therefore be treated at the root. You should not act on unrighteous anger, but should live in righteousness. Jesus shows us how He filfills the Law of murder.
“I hate you”
“You are an idiot”
“You are so stupid”
“I wish I never married you”
“I wish I never had you”
“I wish I had other parents”
Have you ever said these words or similar words to anyone?
We all, if you are being honest, have used similar phrases in our lives.
And we usually have an excuse for using those phrases, for example:
• You MAKE me angry
• I have a short temper
• I can’t help it. This is who I am.
And if all else fails:
• I was just joking
The fact remains, however, that words spoken in anger can have a very bad, very negative effect.
And when we look at the word anger you will see that it is one letter away from the word “Danger”…
The fact of the matter is this:
We need to reexamine the idea we have with regards to anger.
Jesus addressed this issue in the following scripture:
Matthew 5:21-26 ESV
(21) "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.'
(22) 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.
(23) So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,
(24) leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
(25) Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.
(26) Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
Now we are busy with a series on the Sermon on the Mount.
This is already week 6.
Last week we spoke about what out righteousness should be like.
Jesus said that our righteousness should be more than that of the Pharisees and the Scribes.
He was saying to us that we need to understand true righteousness found only in Jesus Christ.
The Pharisees and the Scribes had self-righteousness.
We needed to be on a higher level.
Jesus also said that He did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.
So to show the listeners what He meant by being more righteous than the Pharisees and the Scribes and that He came to fulfill the law, He uses examples from the Law of Moses.
In fact He starts of by using the 6th Commandment, which is “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13)
UNRIGHTEOUS ANGER IS EQUAL TO MURDER
Jesus starts of by saying to the crowd: “"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder;” and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.'
So Jesus takes the Old Testament, the Mosaic Law, and He tells the crowd what they already know.
They know that it is against the law to murder someone.
And they know that there is a punishment connected to this law.
So if anyone was to murder another, they know that what they have done is wrong and they know that they are supposed to be punished for their crime.
I think at that stage they probably looked at each other and thought to themselves.
Yeh, yeh, I know it’s wrong to murder someone.
I know there is a punishment connected to anyone who commits such a murder.
But I have never murdered anyone.
I have never even had the urge to murder anyone.
So this is not really applicable to me.
I am alright.
We are good people, morally sound.
We have good ethics
So go ahead. Preach on.
Isn’t it funny that it is easier to listen to someone preach when they preach to someone else and not to you?
But when the preacher starts addressing problems in your own life, when he starts meddling in your salad, it is then when you start to shuffle in your seat.
It is then that it becomes difficult to listen to the preacher.
Because know he is hitting home.
So they are thinking, as many Christians today also does, that this commandment is not really applicable to them as they did not murder anyone, right?
But then Jesus derails their train.
He takes the popular, well-known, accepted interpretation of the Law of Moses and He does not abolish it.
No, in fact He fulfills it.
He makes it full, by adding the following: (22) 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.