You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
How we treat the people around us matters very much to God!
Jesus quotes one of the Ten Commandments and then says that the heart of God behind this commandment reaches much further than you may have thought.
Murder is an extreme form of the attitude that God hates. This is the same attitude that produces anger and puts people down (“you good-for-nothing” or as we might say, “loser”) and makes them out to be less than you (“you fool”). The attitude may show up in any of these ways, but it’s the attitude that God hates. This attitude breaks your fellowship with God.
In fact, God wants you to make things right with people you’ve offended before coming to Him!
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