Gospel: Matthew 5:20-26
I tell you, if your sense of right and wrong is not keener than that of the Lawyers and the Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
You have heard, that it was said to our people in the past: Do not commit murder; anyone who murders will have to face trial. But now, I tell you: whoever gets angry with a brother or sister will have to face trial. Whoever insults a brother or sister is liable, to be brought before the council. Whoever calls a brother or sister “Fool!” is liable, of being thrown into the fire of hell. So, if you are about to offer your gift at the altar, and you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there, in front of the altar; go at once, and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God.
Don’t forget this: be reconciled with your opponent quickly when you are together on the way to court. Otherwise he will turn you over to the judge, who will hand you over to the police, who will put you in jail. There, you will stay, until you have paid the last penny.
“Make peace with your brother.”
Surpassing the righteousness of the lawyers and the Pharisees is a tall order coming from Jesus Christ. Those spiritual leaders of Israel are far above the many follo wers of Jesus in many respects. They have been trained to inter pret every sentence or word in the Hebrew Bible. Knowing more about the meaning of the sacred scriptures gives them the advan tage of becoming good practi tioners of religion. The limited knowledge of the common people makes them do only that much.
Can Jesus’ disciples really sur pass the sense of right and wrong of the experts? Yes. They can do more than sticking only to the interpreta tions of the experts. The disciples do not need to be scholars to do it.
Jesus asks from his disciples to do doable things like making peace with their brothers whom they have offended. If they humble themselves, they can easily do that. They must be quick to reconcile with others whom they gravely of fended. Christians cannot do much when imprisoned because of fai lure to be reconciled with those who have filed a case against them. Christians must not neglect the basic need to show respect in speech, to be peacemaker and be reconciled with others.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019