To illustrate what he had just said about going beyond “skin-deep” faithfulness in (Matthew 5:16-20), Jesus gives six examples. The first is about anger and murder.
Natural Born Killers
According to Jesus’ standard, we are all murderers at heart. Jesus expects us to be peacemakers instead. (Matthew 5:9)
It is not enough to God if we simply manage to avoid killing others— we must actively pursue peace with enemies; inwardly and outwardly.
A Bigger Problem: The Error of “Only Natural”
How often we excuse attitudes and behaviors with the liar’s safe harbor, “It’s natural — I must do it.” This certainly does not apply to murder (natural), stealing (natural), adultery (natural)... Beware this grave error.
Allow Jesus to be Master of Your:
Your Heart (Matthew 5:22a)
Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;
Your Words (Matthew 5:22b)
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.
Your Worship (Matthew 5:23-24)
A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.
(1 Corinthians 11:28)
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Your Timing (Matthew 5:25-26)
Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Disclaimer: Anger is Not (Necessarily) Sin
Even God gets angry! But he is slow to anger, and abounding in love. More than that, when God is angry, it is always at injustice.
“In your anger do not sin”
What must you do to overcome the killer inside?
Let us surrender our hearts, words, worship and schedules to the Master.
New King James Version (NKJV)
21 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.' 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!'[a] shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny."
vain, empty, worthless, only found in Matthew 5:22 . The Jews used it as a word of contempt. It is derived from Chaldee, reke.
"Be angry with the devil and not your own member. This is why God has armed us with anger. Not that we should thrust the sword against our own bodies, but that we should baptize the whole blade in the devil's breast." ~ John Chrysostom