Your Morning Coffee 12/13/2022
Welcome to your morning coffee! May our Heavenly Father rule over our thinkings, doings, and sayings. Father, though you have caused us to be born again, able to not sin, we are still weak in that we still do sin. Help us to daily repent to you and to others. Help us to humble our will to yours and take care with how we live our lives, both in our world, and in our hearts and minds. Father, in the name of Jesus and by the Spirit, help us to be active, mature members of your family. Help us to hear your Word and do it.
Your Morning Song: "You Are My Vision" by Rend Collective
Your Morning Scripture: Matthew 5:22
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
Here Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees and those listening, about hatred. The Pharisees, as they often did, were concerned only with external actions. But God, when He gave the commandment not to murder, was not only concerned with the action itself, but also the inner person from out of which murderous hatred arises. And so, Jesus lays out a deeper understanding of murder.
When Jesus says, "angry" He is doing something very, very clever. He does not qualify it. He does not say "angry for no reason" or "too angry." He does not draw a clear line for us. He simply says, "angry." The implication here is this. It is wrong for us to be inappropriately angry with someone. This sort of anger is the sort that leads to murder and other horrific outward actions against someone. But Jesus doesn't explicitly state that. By implying this context Jesus leaves those of us who love Him with a healthy fear of our own anger. God can be angry perfectly. He can even hate perfectly. We cannot.
Are we careful when we are angry with one another? It's fair to assume that we each will be. And when we are, how cautious are we? Do we guard our thoughts against sinfully wishful thinking? Do we fantasize about acting or speaking on our anger to someone else? Do we do the hard work of submitting our anger to God when it does happen?
Jesus gives the Pharisees, and us as well, a few good examples of how anger can be expressed in ways that do not please our Father in Heaven. To those who heard Jesus speak these words, to say "Raca" about someone was to call them stupid, making a comment on their intelligence and wisdom. To Jesus's listeners they all knew that saying such a thing about someone else left them open to being sued for libel before the Sanhedrin. And to call someone a "fool" in this context was to speak against their character in a hateful way, essentially condemning them. Which only God was allowed to do, not people.
Jesus used their cultural and legal reality in their courts and practices to point to the eternal reality of God's highest court and authority. Anger of any sort was to be treated with caution. And the sin of inappropriate anger, hatred, didn't wait for outward action. But just as the first listeners were in danger of being taken to earthly courts and authorities if they spoke sinfully in anger, the very presence of hatred in their minds left them deserving of divine judgement.
How careful are we with our anger? How often do we say "idiot" and "fool/scoundrel" in our thoughts where the other person cannot see or hear? Their Father in Heaven can.
And our fear of our Father should always win over our desire to indulge in anger without care.