“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.
Matthew 5:21-22 (NIV)
Have you ever been in a situation in public and said something that another person contradicted? Or have you heard someone contradict an authority in what they have said?
Sadly I sometimes visit with people who have been told by the doctors that they are very ill and need medicine or surgery immediately. These people may be motivated by fear, they may be in denial of their health issues, but they are making a great mistake when they go against a known authority concerning such an important matter.
The scene of Jesus we look at today “appears” to show Him either contradicting the Bible or at least putting His teaching on the same level and with the same authority as the Word of God.
We read in the same passage that Jesus made it clear that He did not come to replace the Word of God. He also stated that all of the Bible had to be fulfilled. Matthew 5:17-18 (NIV) “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
Clearly then, Jesus did not wish to contradict the Bible in what He was saying.
So Jesus is saying that His teaching is equal to what God says, to what is in the Bible, the Word of God. How can anyone say things as profound and wise as God except that the person happens to be God? Jesus, once again, is making a claim to be divine, to be the God of the Jews and the Lord of all creation.
What about Jesus? How do you respond to this idea that whatever Jesus says is to be accepted as God’s message to you? Will you listen to Him as He invites you to come to Him and find peace and rest (Matthew 11:28-30)?
I urge you to read and reread these wonderful statements by Jesus concerning His authority. In a world full of confusion, chaos, and conflicting voices, come to Jesus and get the truth, the real message needed to navigate your way through this world. Jesus is ready to speak to you. Will you listen? What about Jesus?