"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do Not Murder', and anyone who murders will be subject to judgement. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement."
My kids are great. But they are terrible at doing things. I mean, just down right awful. If you ever want to experience an all consuming frustration, try to get a 4 year old to clean up their toys/books/room etc. It is not they are deliberately trying to tick me off(I hope not at least), but they just do not have the requisite skill set to accomplish tasks that are really quite simple. In general they just do not possess the understanding and perspective of the meaning of "clean up ALLLLLLLL the toys".
And that's ok. They still need me. It takes longer to have them "help", but its worth it. In all seriousness they both try really hard to do what is asked of them. And I generally have to always finish the job.
We love rules. Especially God's rules.
Wait wait wait, you say. I thought we hated rules. Well, obviously we like to consider ourselves above rules and restrictions, but we LOVE things we can control to acquire desired outcomes. God's laws can be a great source of pride for people.
"I am such a good person"
"At least I don't do what he/she does"
"God sure is lucky to have someone like me on the team, I do everything super awesome"
So here comes Jesus in Matthew 5; "Great, you like following rules. Guess what, more than rules, the very innermost secret thoughts of your heart are going to be judged as well....."
You might not actually kill someone, but have you ever been angry at someone? And if you say no, you are a liar. And guess what? You might as well be a murderer.
We like to paint Jesus into this little box of good feelings and friendly advice. He breaks right through that and says, "You are under judgment for every single thing you could possibly imagine." So where is the loving and good buddy Jesus we all like to picture?
There is a reality that Jesus is lovingly pointing out to you and I. We CAN NOT DO IT! Even on your best day, you are worse than you need to be. When you are your most loving, you are also unforgiving in your heart of anger/hatred. The law does not exist to give us the 12 step program to be better people who can pull ourselves up by the bootstraps right up through heavens gates.
The law is there to vividly paint the picture of the immutable Character of God Himself and to unavoidably lead to the conclusion of our inability to measure up.
We are all in desperate need of help. Jesus wasn't trying to be a downer. He was forcing us to acknowledge how lost and messed up we really are. He came to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. Ever.
Our lives are often marked by the tragedies and pains of falling so far short of what we want. Welcome to life. In little and small ways, this cycle continues perpetually for us. We need to stop putting on our shoulders that which we cannot carry. Ever.
Whatever it is, whoever it is, whenever it is, Jesus comes calling to say, "You can't do it, but I can". Are we ready to stop trying and start giving it to Him.
This is the next two decades of my life