March 25, 2021
Last night we spent our time together looking at Matthew 5:21-26 in which Jesus teaches about anger. In verses 17-20, Jesus sets the stage for what he’s about to do by telling his audience that he has come not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. The law is God’s very heart – it’s His character, and by giving it to His people, He intends to use it as a means to help them become more like He is. Of course, no one human, stained by sin, can fulfill the law, which is why it is SO shocking when Jesus says that He WILL accomplish it. By saying this, Jesus in effect says “I am God.”
In Matthew 5:21-26, Jesus reminds the disciples that murder is punishable by death, and then goes on to say that even anger, wishing harm or speaking harm against someone, is punishable by the same form of judgement. Jesus is getting at the heart of the law here. God cares about humanity (which is AMAZING), and desires that we care about humanity – that we wouldn’t commit murder, even in our hearts!
Our takeaways were that God wants us to be different from the world in the way we view and treat people. EVERYONE is guilty of being angry, and God calls us out of that. He calls us to be peacemakers. In fact, He calls us to go and be reconciled to other people so that we would keep others from the sin of anger against us! We talked in small groups about how we can practically deal with our anger toward others, and keep it from welling up. I would encourage you to ask your students about this, and try to hold them accountable to being a peacemaker!
We’re starting to see more and more the radical ways in which True Disciples of Jesus are different from the world.
Next week we will be looking at Jesus’ teaching on Lust and Divorce. These two topics are HARD, and we will deal with them with great care for how we speak. But this is Jesus’ word, and we mustn’t shy away from it. 🙂