MATTHEW 5:26_lest at any time thine adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
It is always a good idea to listen to wise advice – particularly if the advice is from the Bible. If you’ve wronged someone in a criminal way, not just hurt their feelings, take Jesus’ advice. This is not to minimize hurting someone’s feelings – which hurts their heart. From what Jesus has taught, hurts to the heart are as serious as killing. Do your part to repair the wrong before it goes to the judicial system.
First, nothing you offer (your future) to God pleases Him until you’ve repaired wrongs. Second, if it does involve something criminal, your adversary will take you to court. If pride gets in the way of humbling yourself before your adversary – it is minor compared to the humiliation which can be placed on you in a courtroom.
If you were in the wrong, you will lose the case. You will have to pay your court fees, your adversary’s court fees, whatever you owe the adversary, plus anything the adversary may add for whatever reason, and possibly some jail time.
Just take Jesus’ advice – He knows the truth to set you free.
Holy Jesus, Please give me the courage to obey Your principles. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows the truth—He can use it to set me free!
MATTHEW 5:21_Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.
Jesus begins His transformation law list. First on the list is thou shalt not kill. What a great way to begin! Who’s going to question that? This statement should please the entire audience. No shouting of boo or hissing at this statement!
Jesus gains everyone’s approval by beginning with the sixth commandment. Not only would they approve, but they would be feeling good, relaxed, and maybe even a little proud. No guilt feelings over this one. No murderers were in this crowd, because murderers were dealt with promptly.
Jesus continues, whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. In order for Jesus to be the balance of judgment and mercy there has to be a place for judgment. The word judgment in this passage is translated as liable. That means you are held responsible for your actions. The Law makes it clear that to kill someone carries a judgment.
Jesus sees something beyond killing someone which can carry judgment. Jesus sees us liable for all our actions.
He is prepared to reveal this liability.
Righteous God, I want to be a part of Your multitude who listen for truth. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ understands judgment—He will teach me!
MATTHEW 5:19_and shall teach men so…
Jesus teaches something worse than to break even the least commandment – teach others to do the same. You can directly teach someone, or you can teach by influence. The power of influence is tremendous – and everyone has it!
You can’t keep commandments and make wise decisions in your own strength. When it comes to sin there is a one-size-fits-all consequence – eternal separation from God. Romans 3:23 (KJV) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” James 2:10 (KJV) “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” God’s compassion and forgiveness make a way to fix that. You need Jesus!
A hypocrite is a professing Christian who lives contrary (including influence) to the principles and teachings of the Bible. In other words, to be a Christian who is void of salt and light. The hypocrite will not cause anyone to thirst for truth – salt contaminated by the lures of the world and lost savor. No weary traveler will find the path to freedom through the darkness of a hypocrite.
You may not believe you are accountable for your influence. If someone makes a poor decision because of your influence, it is no different from your direct teaching. Everyone is responsible for their decisions – they can’t blame anyone else. But you are accountable for your contributing influence. And this is Jesus who says there will be a consequence.
Your call to be salt and light includes your influence. Contribute a salty-lit-up influence!
To really know Jesus is to know He is not about judgment and punishment. Jesus is the very embodiment of love, mercy, and grace. But it is also Jesus who warns there are consequences in life. This is why He draws attention to the importance of living in accordance with the commandments.
Just as the laws of the land, God’s laws are for your safety and protection.
Precious Jesus, I want my life to be salt and light to those thirsty and in darkness. I want this to be true in whatever You call me to do in life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is mercy and grace—I want to live like that!
MATTHEW 5:19_of these least commandments…
To break the laws of the land carry different sentences. You expect to receive harsher punishment for murder than for misrepresenting your taxes. Both break a law and carry a punishment, but the severity of the crime equals the severity of the punishment. It is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.
In this teaching, Jesus refers to breaking one of the least commandments. He leaves no room for a commandment to be too small to escape consequence. So if you think God won’t notice the bubble gum you slipped in your pocket and left the store without paying for it, think again. Remember this teaching is part of Jesus’ verlies – perk up, listen, pay attention! The store may never notice it, but nothing is hid from God.
The Creator calls you to take notice that God’s words matter. Life is serious business. Every thought you think, every word you speak, and every action you take is seen, heard, and known by the God of Heaven. They are also seen and heard by people all around you. They leave some kind of influence.
I Thessalonians 5:22 (KJV), “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” According to the Bible don’t even appear to be outside of God’s commands – whether you actually break them or not.
Holy and Almighty God, I don’t want to break Your commandments, neither do I want to appear as though I have. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ teaches God’s truths—I want to keep them!
MATTHEW 5:19_shall break one…
Another way to break the law is ignorance. It may not be that you disagreed, but simply didn’t know it was a law. Again, you can ask any type of law enforcement officer and I’m afraid you’ll be told ignorance is not an excuse. It is your responsibility to be aware of the laws which govern.
The same consequences apply to the spiritual laws of life. It is your responsibility to know God’s laws and commandments and to abide by them. If you don’t have a Bible – get one. If you have no funds to purchase one, I assure you there are churches galore that would be overjoyed to give you one. Ask.
Psalm 19:1-4 (KJV), “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world …”
These verses say no one has an excuse for not knowing there is a glorious, creating God. The world of nature speaks His existence. If you know there is a God and your heart seeks to love Him, He will make a way.
God’s compassion and forgiveness is great. The more you come to know the truth, the more you understand you are accountable for your actions. And the more power you receive to live in accordance with the commands of Christ.
Give God a chance, even if you live somewhere in the world that does not worship the Creator God.
Heavenly Father, I want to know Your laws and commandments, and live my life in accordance with them. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ makes a way—He will bring me to it!