Thursday: 13th June, 2019
Reference text: Matthew 5:20-27
Matthew 5:21-22a You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:
In the world of hotels, classification is according to stars usually from unranked to 5 stars, even though a number of them are identified as 7-star. Regardless of the system of classification used, there is a clear indication that an increase of every star ought to be accompanied by a corresponding increase in luxury, cost, security and the overall quality of service. Simply put, when the stars go up, the standards must go up.
Therefore, when loyal patrons of a particular hotel chain change to a new place, although it could mean a lot of things, one thing can be suggested: ‘standards have changed’. This is what Jesus draws on today to make his point- He presents what seems to be a tightening up of existing rules to make it nearly impossible not to break them. One of these was to place anger and murder on the same pedestal, meriting the same punishment.
It is possible to say that those standards are tough, even extreme and will only contribute to making the decision to follow Him much harder. But that is hardly the intention. He serves to call our attention to the precursors of what we will refer to as ‘bigger things’. Many things we deem ‘normal’ and don’t pay attention to, always have the potential to explode into something bigger.
Today also, the message begins with a reminder that we are not like everyone else-our standards are different. Beloved, untamed anger can easily lead to murder, one name-call can trigger a full scale battle. So, pay attention to those small situations and address them before they get out of hand.