Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 2 of “Fan or Follower – Value Life” (LISTEN HERE).
“I’ve never killed anyone.”
Fortunately that is true for a vast majority of people.
So it is easy to read the Fifth Commandment, “You shall not kill” and move on with a confident checkmark that indicates, “I’ve kept that one!”
It may even be a caveat to our evaluation of the commandments when we say, “At least, I’ve never killed someone.” We could dishonor our parents, let a little curse come out of our mouths, or take a pen from work…but AT LEAST, I haven’t killed anyone.”
Like that is the BIG commandment…if you break the other ones, ok, but once you’ve killed someone THEN you are a huge lawbreaker.
Jesus knew this. He knew we would want to skip past the fifth commandment with a confident check mark, or minimize the other commandments by making killing someone the worst thing you could do.
So he pokes a little deeper in our hearts to help us evaluate if we are on “Team Life” or “Team Death” this week.
I’d love to quickly check the box of the “Do not murder” commandment and consider myself “holy” in regard to this command, but after spending about two minutes on Jesus’ words, I realize I don’t easily remain on “Team Life” and can easily shift uniforms and play for “Team Death.”
See if you agree.
Matthew 5:21: “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that 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.
If you were listening to Jesus say this for the first time, your self-righteous ego would be shaken at best and crushed at worst.
You mean being angry with my brother is subject to the same judgment as killing my brother?
You mean if I insult someone, I’m called to account?
You mean if I call someone a fool, I’m in danger of hell?
That’s what Jesus is saying. That is what we will dig into this week.
As we face the spiritual battle to be part of “Team Life” instead of “Team Death” it will be easy to look at the “big things” (I haven’t murdered, I support the unborn life, I believe God starts and ends life, etc.) and move forward confidently as a follower of Jesus.
However, these “big things” maybe are the “easy things” of being a fan of Jesus. It’s easy not to kill. It’s easy to express our support of unborn life. It’s easy to acknowledge life begins and ends with the Lord.”
But Jesus calls us with these words to actually get on the field to understand our opponent and understand “Team Life” and what it means to not just NOT murder, but to support, encourage, and promote life to the glory of God.
Ready to follow? Let’s get out of the stands and onto the field to combat “Team Death” with the strength of the Lord and the power of his word!
Apply: What do you think Jesus is saying to you in these words about murder?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for valuing my life enough to give your own for mine. Help me to learn more about what it means to value and fight hard for life…every aspect of it. AMEN.