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August 2, 2009

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millipede
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August 2, 2009

Postby millipede » Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:02 pm

Matthew 22:36-40
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Exodus 20:13
13 Thou shalt not kill.


I've been looking at how this passage in Matthew can in some extent cover all of the ten commandments. This week we're looking at a very short line. Thou shalt not kill. Doesn't get much simpler than that does it? I mean, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. So, who wants to be murdered? It's pretty simple to see if you love your neighbor as yourself you wont find yourself killing anyone.
However... We're going to look at something else here for a bit.
In another place in Matthew, Jesus has something to say about this very commandment:

Matthew 5:21-22
21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.


Jesus expands the definition of murder just a little bit here doesn't He... I am not sure I fully understand the weight of this verse. I don't know what Raca means. And I don't know the difference between judgment and the council. It also seems pretty severe that calling someone a fool could lead someone to hell. Well, the words used are "shall be in danger of hell fire"
You see, your attitude reflects what is going on in your heart. The passage we've been studying says we need to love our neighbors as ourselves. When we have ill feelings towards someone we sure aren't loving them. While it may seem like a stretch to us to compare being angry with someone and actually murdering them, it's clear that God takes it all pretty seriously. However you choose to define murder, it's pretty easy to say that "love your neighbor as yourself" means a whole lot more than not killing them. Loving them means loving them. Can you be angry with someone in love? Can you call someone a fool in love?

So how does loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind mean you wont kill? Part of it is simple in that God said not to kill. He said it quite a lot throughout the bible. If we love Him, we would respect His wishes. But, there's even more to say about this.

Genesis 9:6
Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.


We are all creatures created in God's own image. We are quite precious to Him, every one of us... So, if we love God we should treat His creation as He does. We should love them. Murdering someone that God created just doesn't sound like something you would do if you loved God. It would be like taking something your parent worked really, really hard on making, and just destroying it. That just doesn't sound very loving does it? So it's pretty simple to say that if we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind we wouldn't even think about killing something He created. And speaking of thinking about it... That verse in Matthew 5 that I mentioned a little while ago applies perfectly here. We have some nasty thoughts towards other people sometimes that are just as destructive as murder. And this is towards people that God created and God loves very much. Jesus died for ALL of us. Not just you and me and whomever you might think is worthy. He died for all of us. You really have to wonder how we can have hurtful feelings towards another human. But, we are imperfect. It might be wise for us to keep these verses in mind when we start thinking such thoughts about someone.
So, no matter what your definition of murder is, it is easy to see that loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind means a whole lot more than not killing another person. God loves us all. Let's treat each other as the precious creations that He sees us as.

Dear Lord, thank you so much for today. Thank you for all that you have created. Thank you for loving us all so much. You created us in your image and I pray that we might respect that in all we say, think, and do. Thank you Jesus for expanding the lessons on murder so that we can see just how destructive our thoughts and words can be. I pray that we would follow all your teachings about loving you and loving our neighbors. Help us to to love one another.
Amen

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