29 October, 2012

posted 25 Oct 2012, 21:12 by C S Paul

29 October, 2012
Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Church

Sermon of The Week  7 th. Sunday after the Festival of the Cross/ Sleebo Feast

source - http://www.malankaraworld.com

Gospel Reading for this Sunday

Matthew 5:21-26 New King James Version (NKJV)


Murder Begins in the Heart

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 judgement.’ 

22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgement. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ 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.

Bible Commentary / Bible Study

Wesley

21. Ye have heard - From the scribes reciting the law; Thou shalt do no murder - And they interpreted this, as all the other commandments, barely of the outward act. The judgement - The Jews had in every city a court of twenty-three men, who could sentence a criminal to be strangled. But the sanhedrim only (the great council which sat at Jerusalem, consisting of seventy-two men, ) could sentence to the more terrible death of stoning. That was called the judgment, this the council. Exod. xx, 13.

22. But I say unto you - Which of the prophets ever spake thus? Their language is, Thus saith the Lord. Who hath authority to use this language, but the one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Whosoever is angry with his brother - Some copies add, without a cause - But this is utterly foreign to the whole scope and tenor of our Lord's discourse. If he had only forbidden the being angry without a cause, there was no manner of need of that solemn declaration, I say unto you; for the scribes and Pharisees themselves said as much as this. Even they taught, men ought not to be angry without a cause. So that this righteousness does not exceed theirs. But Christ teaches, that we ought not, for any cause, to be so angry as to call any man Raca, or fool. We ought not, for any cause, to be angry at the person of the sinner, but at his sins only. Happy world, were this plain and necessary distinction thoroughly understood, remembered, practiced! Raca means, a silly man, a trifler. Whosoever shall say, Thou fool - Shall revile, or seriously reproach any man. Our Lord specified three degrees of murder, each liable to a sorer punishment than the other: not indeed from men, but from God. Hell fire - In the valley of Hinnom (whence the word in the original is taken) the children were used to be burnt alive to Moloch. It was afterward made a receptacle for the filth of the city, where continual fires were kept to consume it. And it is probable, if any criminals were burnt alive, it was in this accursed and horrible place. Therefore both as to its former and latter state, it was a fit emblem of hell. It must here signify a degree of future punishment, as much more dreadful than those incurred in the two former cases, as burning alive is more dreadful than either strangling or stoning.

23. Thy brother hath aught against thee - On any of the preceding accounts: for any unkind thought or word: any that did not spring from love.

24. Leaving thy gift, go - For neither thy gift nor thy prayer will atone for thy want of love: but this will make them both an abomination before God.

25. Agree with thine adversary - With any against whom thou hast thus offended: while thou art in the way - Instantly, on the spot; before you part. Lest the adversary deliver thee to the judge - Lest he commit his cause to God. Luke xii, 58.

26. Till thou hast paid the last farthing - That is, for ever, since thou canst neve


Message:

by: Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambi

Jesus had a special relationship to God's will and purpose. Jesus tried to fulfill them by believing in therighteousness of God's laws. It is not merely fulfilling the legal definitions or interpretations of the laws.

What is righteousness for God is not just following God's laws. For Jesus, God's righteousness goes far deeper and involves more than that.Righteousness is not a contract between God and man. It is not about what you can do to get away with or without violating the letter of the law. 

Jesus talks, for example, about God's law which says, "Do not kill". This is one of the Commandments. Whoever kills shall be liable for judgment. That is God's law. It is inclusive of many deeper meanings. Jesus says God's law "Do not kill" actually has deeper meaning. It is not just do not murder each other, but also includes not to be angry with another or demean others by insults. If one has not fulfilled those things, the person is liable for the samejudgment as murdering other person. 

It was a common assumption in Jesus' times that righteousness was something that is limited to external obedience of the law. Jesus says the seed of murder begins earlier than the final act. The act goes way back in angry words and insults. For Jesus, the real death occurs much earlier by those angry words and other forms of insults.Righteousness is more than external obedience of the law. It is not how much we get away with legal definitions of the law. 

A murderer who escaped conviction on the basis of technicality of the law in Los Angeles a few years ago is a case in point. A famous football player escaped conviction for committing a double murder due to a technicality of the law. The police detective who took blood samples from the crime scene due to some explained reasons delayed to submit it to the lab, according to the defense. Althoug the delay was for only six hours, the defense argued that the blood samples from the crime sscene might have been contaminated due its delay in submiitting to the lab. On the basis of technical error, the defense won the case. 

Righteousness is not based on technicality of the law. It is the relationship that springs out of the right heart, mind, and soul.Righteousness is connected with well-being and harmony. That is the law of God which Jesus came to fulfill. 

God's will is for reconciliation. Jesus says not to proceed in worship the Lord until you have sought reconciliation. Where we have right relationship with others, that is an act of worship.

Jesus' message offers wonderful hope for us. There is no point in priding outselves saying that we have not killed anyone. Our anger and thoughtless words will also cause small deaths in others. Jesus says righteousness in more than legal. It has many moral implications. Righteouness is more than merely conforming to the letter of the law.It is that thought or act that makes us clean from the inside out.

What we need is not righteousness from our point of view. We need more than that. We need Christ in us for righteous behavior.

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