"THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT"
Murder And Anger (Mt 5:21-26)
1. In what way is our righteousness to exceed the "righteousness of the
scribes and Pharisees?" Mt 5:20
2. Jesus now begins to illustrate how this can be done through a series of
contrasts, with the first contrast concerning Murder And Anger Mt 5:21-26
[We notice first...]
I. THE "TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION" CONCERNING THE
SIXTH COMMANDMENT (ON MURDER) - Mt 5:21
A. NOTICE THAT I SAY "TRADITIONAL"...
1. In other words, that which had been taught by the "traditions of
the elders" (cf. Mt 15:2 )
a. That Jesus is referring to such is in view of His preparatory
remarks: "You have HEARD that it was SAID to those of old"
b. Referring to ORAL traditions rather than the WRITTEN Law
(cf. earlier lesson on "Jesus & The Law")
2. Which traditions had likely been accepted by the "scribes and
B. THE "TRADITIONAL" INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION OF THE SIXTH
1. Is seen in the phrase "whoever murders will be in danger of the
2. The term "judgment" likely refers to the local courts of their
3. This interpretation may sound fine, but evidently did not go
far enough in how the Law should have been interpreted...
II. THE TEACHING OF JESUS AND "KINGDOM RIGHTEOUSNESS"
A. JESUS APPLIES THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT AS THE LAW ORIGINALLY
INTENDED (AND TAUGHT ELSEWHERE IN THE LAW)...
1. Not only is murder wrong, but the emotions which often lead to
murder as well - cf. Pr 6:16-19
a. Not only are "hands that shed innocent blood" (murder) an
abomination to the Lord
b. But also a "heart that devises wicked plans" and "one who
sows discord among brethren" (due to anger)
2. This being true, the Law should have been interpreted and
3. This Jesus does in Mt 5:22 ...
a. One who is angry with his brother without a cause would be
in danger of the "judgment"
1) I.e., the local courts through Palestine
2) Normally reserved for common criminals
b. One who says to his brother "Raca!" (blockhead!) should be
in danger of the "council"
1) I.e., the Sanhedrin council
2) The high court normally reserved for special criminals
c. One who says "You fool!" would be in danger of "hell fire"
1) I.e., Gehenna
2) The place of everlasting torment - Mk 9:43-48
4. In this way, the "traditional interpretation and application"
of the Law fell far short of what it should have been
a. The "righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees" had just
been condemning murderers when those with hateful emotions
were just as guilty!
b. The "righteousness of the kingdom" is in harmony with the
original intent of the Law - notice Ga 5:19-21
B. JESUS CONTINUES TO EMPHASIZE THE SERIOUS NATURE OF SUCH EMOTIONS
BY ILLUSTRATING HOW THEY AFFECT OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOD AND
MAN - Mt 5:23-26...
1. We should not try to worship God when we are "at odds" with a
a. Repair your strained relationship with a brother before
worshipping God - Mt 5:23-24
b. Otherwise, it won't do us any good - cf. 1 Jn 4:20-21
2. We should be quick to "make amends" lest uncontrolled anger
cause us to wind up in court, possibly prison! - Mt 5:25-26
a. Many "hot-heads" have let their anger prompt them to do
things that sent them to prison!
b. But notice how those in the kingdom are to act - Ro 12:18-21
1. In the first contrast between the "righteousness of the kingdom" and
the "traditional treatment of the Law", Jesus has:
a. Declared that the ancients did not go far enough in applying the
b. Illustrated how it should be applied by those seeking to surpass
the "righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees"
2. We have seen that the "righteousness of the kingdom" is actually in
harmony with the Law and the Prophets!
In the next lesson, we shall consider what Jesus taught in regards to
the matter of adultery...
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