Sermon on the Mount 12
There are two ways to view the next part of the Sermon on the Mount:
- Jesus focused on the spirit of the laws of God, instead of the letter.The Pharisees and Scribes focused much of their attention on the letter, without any regard to the spirit of the law. In fact, they focused so much of their attention on the letter of the law that they added over 600 laws to God’s word. So, there were the Mosaic laws and equal to them were the Pharisaical laws. To change the way they thought about sin and God’s commands, Jesus transformed the Jewish understanding of God’s Laws to the inner man. So, it is possible to murder someone or commit adultery with our hearts, whether or not we ever act upon them. The Jews believed sin was an act of the flesh but Jesus rebuked this idea by reminding them that sin is an act of the heart that may or may not be fulfilled in the flesh.
- Jesus gives the genesis of how sin is committed in the flesh.Outward appearances of sin start in the heart. A person will never murder anyone without first being angry with that person. Even murders of passion require anger to accomplish the task. The fruit of anger is murder. Murder or any other sin always starts in the heart.
Matthew 15:18KJV 1900
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
(In March of 2004) the American Medical Association released the results of an interesting study teenage anger. The study was conducted at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. It found that teenagers, who don’t manage their anger, are at a higher risk for weight gain than those who do. The study concluded that regardless of whether teens mismanaged anger by suppressing their feelings of anger or went to the other extreme and simply lost their temper –either way they were at a higher risk of weight gain.
Jesus would say that an angry person is more likely to murder.
- Therefore, sin is an activity that takes place in the heart regardless if the sin ever materializes in the flesh.However, no sin can ever materialize in the flesh without first being in the heart.
Proverbs 4:23KJV 1900
Keep thy heart with all diligence;For out of it arethe issues of life.
In effect, From Matthew 5:21 - through the end of the chapter He taught His disciples what the righteousness of grace looks like as oppose to the righteousness of the Pharisees and Scribes.
One other point of emphasis: Jesus said six times in Matthew 5 - “But I say.” This phrase as an emphasis of His authority. He does not need to quote another rabbi or teacher of the past to validate His statements. The statements stand upon His authority, not the authority of others.
The Iis emphasized in the Greek ("Ego" is first word in sentence). It was this probably that, more than anything else, led to the feeling of wonder expressed in Matthew 7:28-29. The scribe in his teaching invariably referred to this Rabbi and that; the new Teacher spoke as one having a higher authority of His own.BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE OF ANGER
The Biblical understanding of anger
One woman went to the doctor. He looked grave. She said, "What's wrong?" He said, "Madam, you have hydrophobia. You have rabies." She got out a pencil and started to write. He said, "What are you doing—making your will?" She said, "No, I'm making a list of people I'm going to bite." I believe I met her sister on one occasion.
Ephesians 4:26KJV 1900
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Even in righteous anger, do not go to bed with the emotions of anger lingering.
Proverbs 29:11KJV 1900
A fool uttereth all his mind:But a wise mankeepeth it in till afterwards.
The idea is not guarding your emotions (to include anger).
Ecclesiastes 7:9KJV 1900
Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
Proverbs 15:18KJV 1900
A wrathful man stirreth up strife:But he that isslow to anger appeaseth strife.
- Examples in the Bible of people who struggled controlling their anger
- Cain was angry with God and Able, which led him to murder Abel - Genesis 4
- Moses hit the rock twice out of anger - Numbers 20 (Although the Bible does not explicitly say this was done out of anger, the context will reasonably lead a person to this understanding as the root of why Moses struck the rock twice)
- Balaam was angry with his donkey, even though his donkey saved his life - Numbers 22
- Ahab was peeved and angry with Naboth for not selling to Ahab his vineyard.This led to Naboth’s murder - 1 Kings 21
- Esau’s anger for what Jacob did - Amos 1:11 “For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath forever.”
JESUS MESSAGE ON ANGER V.21-26
- Jesus redefines murder
- In redefining murder, He did not remove the law of God but expanded upon the understanding of the law of God.
- Jesus broadens murder to an emotional state of anger and words or thoughts produced by this emotional state of anger:
- He who is angry with his brother without a cause - the Idea is not that a just cause should produce anger; instead, the anger should equal the cause.A person should not be level 10 on the angry scale when the offense is 2 or 3. So just cause does not justify anger; rather, determines the degree of anger to be expressed. Therein lies the problem - the anger we usually express extends beyond the cause that created the anger. This usually occurs because we are dealing with anger before the cause ever happened.
- The person who calls someone “Raca” flows from an angry heart.
“Raca” means viewing someone as worthless or empty. In Rabbinic writings, it was viewing someone who thought like a Donkey. “In that sense Raca expresses dehumanizing contempt which seeks to strip the person of their dignity by viewing them as worthless!” Solomon referred to this as a sin coming from proud wrath:
Proverbs 21:24KJV 1900
Proud andhaughty scorner ishis name,Who dealeth in proud wrath.
God does not view people as worthless. Even though Jesus said it was better for Judas not to be born, this does not mean He viewed him as worthless. John 3:16 does not apply to just the saved but the world. God gave His son because He loved the world. Every single person has value with God. To view someone as worthless is an intensifying step up from being angry without a cause.
- The person who calls someone a fool flows from anger.The word Jesus used in the Greek for the word “fool’ is where we get our English word “moron.
Thou fool,is a spiteful word, and comes from hatred; looking upon him, not only as mean and not to be honoured, but as vile and not to be lovedIn redefining Israel’s understanding of murder, Jesus does not put all anger on the same playing field. Yet, in each case the punishment fit for the sin is capital.
- The lesson is it is not just our actions but our hearts and words.
- The sins of anger without a cause has different layers of intensity and punishment.Though there are differences in punishment, each punishment is capital in character. The Jews had three capital punishments:
- Judgment - beheading
- Council (Sanhedrin) - stoning
- burning in the valley of Hinnom, which was used in extraordinary causes.
- Two practical illustrations - Jesus gave two practical illustrations.Within these two illustrations, Jesus helps us to understand the importance of resolving anger and our responsibility in helping resolve their anger.
- Worship towards God does not justify bad relationships
- Jesus puts the burden of the person who has offended (whether the offense is true or false perception by the offended person) as responsible for reconciliation
- Our gifts are meaningless if we know people are angry with us and we have not done anything to resolve this anger.
- We must prevent anger from festering before it becomes a problem
- We must prevent anger without compromising on truth.
- We must be in the right mind:
All of the uses of mnaomai are in the middle voice (the subject initiates the action and participates the the process or results) - "The high level of personal involvement and personal interest motivating this remembering accounts for why it is always in the middle voice.
- Adversary is an opponent in a law suit
- We should try to settle the anger and malice quickly
- If you allow the anger to persist in the heart of the offended party and you are found guilty in the court of law, then you deserve everything your punishment.
- Righteous anger
- Jesus said angry without a cause
- Paul said:
Ephesians 4:26–27KJV 1900
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.
- How do you know if you anger is righteous?
- Godly anger is not explosive, but is slowly provoked
Exodus 34:6KJV 1900
And the Lordpassed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The LordGod, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
- God does not take pleasure in expressing His anger in the judgement of men:
2 Peter 3:9KJV 1900
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Ezekiel 33:11KJV 1900
Say unto them, AsI live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
Romans 13:10KJV 1900
Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love isthe fulfilling of the law.