21 ‘You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, “Raca,”[d] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, “You fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 ‘Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
25 ‘Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
On The Path To Murder
I see how it starts, Jesus. I want something and I think that I should have it. I think that something is a right. I fear that I am not important to someone. I think that maybe I am stupid. I make a subconscious connection to a painful memory or pattern. I break off my relational ability. I go into a task-oriented mode and others become mere resources to accomplish my goals. Even worse, they become obstacles. Everyone, including myself, ceases to be relational human beings. We cease to be interdependent, healthy people created in the image of God. I wish I was free of people. I wish I didn’t have to manipulate them.
If entertained, this mode becomes more foul. I can judge peopl. Condemn people. Put people in categories and choose who is owrthy of my time and who is not.
The ultimate step is the one of murder. However, we have all walked the line of devaluing others, wishing them further, sometimes wishing they didn’t exist. Such an attitude is not worthy of your kingdom, Jesus.
Help me to see others as people. Help me to relate. Help me to seek to affirm them, value them, and be a safe place for them. Help me to help them find you. Help me not to be another reason why the world is so disconnected.
- What is the first step in the path to murder?
- What would Jesus say to those who would say, “How much can I isolate myself from others?”
- How would Jewish people, who had never murdered, have been amazed at Jesus?
- How do you change your relationship with others when you feel embarrassed, threatened, shamed, or guilty?
- What is the design of personal relationships with Jesus and others?
- Why is “I don’t want or need people” a statement connected with murder?