“You have heard it said long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell” (Mathew 5: 21-22.)
Very few evil offenses can rival the act of murder. And yet murder, like so many sins, is merely the outward manifestation of an inward disposition. All of our actions originate from the depths of our souls. First century Judaism strongly stressed external adherence to the laws of God. Jesus however chose to focus more on the heart; thus placing greater emphasis on internal obedience. And why not? After all, murder is nothing more than hatred which has grown to full maturity; similarly laziness gives birth to poverty and adultery is the offspring of lust. Unless the heart is continually cleansed, evil will take root and produce a plethora of unholy actions. God judges the inner man; therefore the believer must be diligent to maintain an unsaturated spirit. In so doing, they will simultaneously adhere to God’s commandments. (In regard to inward purity, Jesus once said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”)
John Wilkes booth is one of the most famous assassins in U.S. history. On the evening of April 14th 1865, as the U.S. civil war drew to a close, President Abraham Lincoln was watching a play at Ford’s theatre in Washington D.C. Suddenly Mr. Booth crept up behind the president and shot him in the back of the head with his pistol (a wound that proved fatal.) Although Booth escaped, he was later caught and killed. The enraged murderer had been a loyal southerner; disillusioned by what he perceived to be Northern aggression. Abraham Lincoln’s death, although tragic, wasn’t the result of an assassin’s bullet; instead it was the offspring of fully matured anger. Inward hatred had led to the deaths of both John Wilkes Booth and the 16th president of the United States of America.
Anger can never be contained; it is a seed that grows in to hatred; and hatred eventually produces sinful actions. The Lord has therefore taught us that anger and murder are synonymous. God makes no distinction between the seed that enters the ground and the fruit that it ultimately produces. Search your heart; if you discover anger and resentment then discard it; it can only serve to separate you from your creator. Receive His Holy Spirit and God will cleanse you all unrighteousness. Let go of your hostility, and you too will experience the freedom of absolute forgiveness.
“Lord Heavenly Father, we ask and pray that You would let the truth of this scripture sink deep down into our hearts. Please cleanse our souls of every evil thought and unholy desire. Take away our anger and resentment. May we refrain from incorrectly judging others; knowing that you are the only righteous judge. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and transform us from the inside out. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!