Home > The Ministries of our Church > Sabbath School Depart Ministries > Junior and Earliteen >
Murder Begins in the Heart
The New King James Version
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause* shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ [piece of spit, or similar insulting name] shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ [wicked or godless one] shall be in danger of hell fire.
* many Greek manuscripts (of the New Testament) do not contain the phrase “without a cause”. Jesus may not have included this qualifier in His sermon.
The Message Bible
21-22 “You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.
When somebody does something to you that REALLY bothers you, is it true that that person makes you angry?
Is anger something that happens to you, or is it a decision?—that is, a choice?
We often use the expression, “he/she made me mad.”
Does that expression reflect the truth about what we are experiencing, or do we choose to get mad?
So is Jesus saying that we should quietly accept anything and everything that anybody does to us, or to have no response whatever to such abusive words or action against us?

--personal application--
23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny. 23-24 “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.
25-26 “Or say you’re out on the street and an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him. After all, if you leave the first move to him, knowing his track record, you’re likely to end up in court, maybe even jail. If that happens, you won’t get out without a stiff fine.
If you went to church, and suddenly in the middle of your worship experience, you suddenly remembered that someone you know was offended by you, Is this verse saying that you should leave the service and go to that person to be make things right between the two of you.
Wouldn’t your leaving during the service reflect badly on you at church?
Are there situations where it would reflect better on God for you to stay at the worship service, until it’s over, and then go and be reconciled with the person who has been offended by you?
Is the principle behind this statement of Jesus that doing all we can to have good relations with people takes precedence over worship?  why or why not?
Can we have a good relationship with everyone?  —Does the Bible promise that we will have a wonderful relationship with everyone?
Consider the following: 
  • Matt.10.22, Mark 13:13   And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
  • Luke.6.26  Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets.
  • Rom.12.18  If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
So what is the balance between obeying God and having good relationships with the people around me?
Question to keep asking yourself:
Am I more concerned about what other people think of me than what God thinks of me and about obeying Him?
Am I adequately concerned about my relationship with other people
—such that God would describe me as “loving my neighbor as myself?”

Updated: Sep 11, 2014