#DailyDevotion You’re Not Getting Out….
21“You have heard that long ago the people were told: ‘Do not murder. Whoever murders must answer for it in court.’ 22“But I tell you, anyone who is angry with his brother will have to answer for it in court. Anyone who calls his brother an empty-head’ will have to answer for it before the highest court. Anyone who calls him a ‘fooľ will have to answer for it in hellfire. 23“So if you’re bringing your gift to the altar and remember there that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go. First make up with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25“If someone wants to sue you be quick to make up with him while you are still on the way with him, or your accuser will hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you will be put into prison. 26I tell you the truth, you will never get out until you pay the last cent.”
I’m thinking the Jews of Jesus’ day were very much like people today. We like to, when it benefits us, to take God’s law very to the letter and to perform it outwardly and think we have done what God has wanted us to do. So when God said, “Do not murder” we, and they, think, “Well I have stabbed, shot, or made anyone achieve room temperature today, so I’m good.” Well Jesus, who gave the Law to Moses on the mountain tells us differently.
If you are angry with your brother, you will have to answer for it in court. What court? The court of the Almighty’s tribunal. Anger leads to murder. Cain was angry and became the first murderer. Our court systems generally even have a classification for murder committed rashly, out of anger. But anger, in and of itself gets you in trouble with God. Even if you just wanted to murder, you are guilty of it. Name calling is another type of murder. “Empty head” or “fool” or any other name that makes the person less than they name they were given as birth is also a form of murder. Jesus says such actions will be answerable in the highest courts and will we punished with hellfire. That’s pretty serious. Yes, ridiculing someone is a form of murder. It kills the persons spirit. Oh, and don’t forget someone may have something against you. You should do something to prevent yourself from getting killed. Jesus tells us to leave our gifts at the altar before offering them up to the Lord if we know we have offended someone. Also to we should make amends with people so they don’t have to sue us for what is rightfully theirs. If you go to court and you’re wrong, you most certainly not fair well.
But Jesus warns us, in our sinning against our brother (our fellow human being) gets us in dutch with God. You will be locked in the lowest prisons of hell and you won’t get until you pay back every last cent. You know what? You are making much money down there and you will never, ever, never get out. Hell is for all eternity, for the rest of your existence.
You should get on your knees every day and thank your Father above that he has sent someone to rescue you and pay your debt. That someone is Jesus Christ. He has done all the good you were supposed to do, avoided the evil you did do and received in himself the due punishment for all your sins. You are free and forgiven for Jesus Christ our Lord’s sake.
Almighty God and Father, your Law is too much for us mortals to keep so you sent your son Jesus to be our substitute. Grant us faith in his atoning work and give us your Spirit that we may live our lives according to your will. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.