Epistles to the Cyberchurch - Su Min

To: all
From: Su Min
Subject: Murder

Jesus is teaching about righteousness, a righteousness that embraces the spirit of the law as well as the letter of the law. He says," You have heard that it was said to the people long ago 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgement'. (Matt 5:21)".

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them (Matt 5:17). Jesus means: Do not murder: anyone who murders will be subject to judgement: this is still a valid law. In the Decalogue, the ten commandments, the word of God spoken to Moses, Exodus 20:13, and written in stone (Ex 31:18) states: You shall not commit murder. Jesus came not to abolish the law but to fulfil it. Jesus came to show us the spirit of the law, not just the letter of the law. Murder is an act that is outside of God's will. This is the law. But Jesus goes beyond that direct narrow interpretation. Jesus says "But I tell you any one who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement (Matt 5:22."

Jesus says "Do not commit murder, and do not even be angry."

Murder. There are times indeed when we have murderous thoughts. "I could kill you!" "Drop dead!", sometimes said in jest, sometimes said in ernest. I pray to God that none of us will ever carry out that intent: so much the better to keep such evil words from our lips and such evil thoughts from our mind. There are times when some of us look daggers: stare with looks that would kill if looks could kill: angry thoughts boil within: the heart beats so fast, the face is flushed, but the hands do not move. Jesus gently speaks to us, "No my child, do not even be angry: Anger is most usually the way of darkness".

Do not even be angry. But we protest: was not Jesus angry when he upset the money changers' table in the temple (Matt 2113)? We learn that there is a place for righteous anger: Anger when God's way is being distorted. But most of the time when we experience anger it is usually because of selfish self-centred anger: we feel affronted, we feel cheated, we feel humiliated, we feel our authority and our own might challenged. We see red, we feel hot and bothered. We may explode with hot anger or boil and simmer with cold rage. Jesus comes by us. Forgive, he says. Let the pain go. Turn the other cheek. Do not seek vengeance. Do not have those murderous feelings. Do not have those angry thoughts.

Having taken off the way of the children of darkness we are naked unless we put on the mantle of the children of light. Just not being angry is not good enough. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity (Col 3:12-14). Be hospitable, self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined (Titus 1:8) Every one should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19).

Let us pray.

For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min

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