Serving Jesus in Our Community

Bible Notes

Matthew 5:14-16 (18.02.19)

Matthew 5:14-16 NIVUK
21 ‘You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, “Raca,” 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.

There’s an element of comedy here easily missed. Jesus is telling this to a crowd in Nazareth, imagining that one of them is standing in front of the altar in Jerusalem, only to realise that they need to be reconciled to someone they’ve wronged back home and so they promptly leave their animal, not yet sacrificed, standing at the altar, and run the three day journey back home to make things up, before later taking the three day journey back to finish the sacrifice they’d started now almost a week ago! But such comic urgency underlines the importance of relationships to Jesus  and their maintenance and fixing.

Take a moment to think through your relationships. Are there any you need to mend? Don’t put it off – pray and act today.

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