February 1st, 2023

Matthew 5:21-26

Jesus insists that simply avoiding murdering someone is not enough; even burning anger towards someone violates the command.

In Matthew 5:23-24, Jesus focuses on our need to deal with brothers and sisters who truly have something against us. A person does something that angers us. We respond to their acts with harsh insults or actions with intent to harm them. Then they are harmed and now have something against us.

Regardless of who started the disagreement, Jesus makes it our responsibility to take the initiative and do what we can to reconcile. The point is clear: our relation to God (vertical) and our relationship with others (horizontal) are intertwined. Loving God requires loving neighbor, too! There is no moving ahead with God, while we neglect the hurts or needs of others.

Jesus preached, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (v. 9). Peacemakers are those who take the initiative to make peace where there is no peace.

Author: Ron Dalton


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