Thou Shalt Not Kill….what does this mean?
Treasuring God’s Gifts
Means We Value Deep Relationships,
Enough to Turn to Christ for Healing…
(rather than hurt others…or resent them )
Ex. 20:14, Eph 2:10, Luke 10:25-28, Mt, 5:21-24
In Jesus Name
May the Grace of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ bring you mercy, peace, and the healing that comes as sin is forgiven
If you desire bad for someone…gulp
Part of the gospel reading tonight seems a bit extreme.
Consider it again, just because you get angry at someone, you are to be judged by God?
If you call someone an idiot, or anything else negative, you are to be brought before God’s court to be found unrighteous?
Or if you wish or desire something bad to happen to someone, you find yourselves in danger of hell?
Part of me wants to think that is a bit extreme, more than a bit challenging. Considering growing up near Boston, those things were how you treated your friends. (you don’t want to know how we treated our enemies)
Hearing this passage, where Jesus takes the 5th commandment and explains it, doesn’t sound like good news. He raises the bar higher it seems, He puts even more on the table than simply not murdering someone.
But it is the gospel, for as we begin to hear these words, not as a list of do’s and do not’s, but as how God’s work in our lives looks, we understand how this is gospel.
The secret to not hurting others, whether in body or soul, is about trusting in God and treasuring His work in our lives; so much so that we desire to turn over to God that which needs healing, that which is broken. Whether someone else broke it, or we did.
Killing off Life
When I hear this command, it’s often in a deep bass voice, like James Earl Jones, or Darth Vader,
THOU SHALL NOT MURDER!!!!!!
When I hear Jesus, as He is delivering the Sermon on the Mount, it is more of a pastor, a mentor type of voice. He’s explaining that the heart of the matter is not just shooting or plunging a sword into someone’s heart. It is thinking about, saying or doing anything which harms the neighbor/family member/co-worker that Jesus taught us to love, to treasure. The people that He died to save, to heal, to bring to the fullness of life.
It is that fullness of life, that masterpiece of God’s design, that He creates and perfects in us, that the “you must not murder”, is all about. For as we damage others, whether physically, emotionally or spiritually, we wreck our view of God’s design for us, and also the person we hurts view. We obscure the treasure, we stop it from being seen, and instead it is seen damaged, broken, less than God promises.
It is hard not to look at the damage, just like most of slow down when we see an accident on a freeway – we just have to know why the fire trucks and police cars are there. So when we our words do damage, when our anger divides us, it will attract our attention, our focus, just like the accident,
That distracts us from God’s love, from the peace He brings into our lives, as we are united with Christ’s death. It stops us from seeing the masterpiece, as our lives are consumed by damage…
They Are Dead to Me?
But it is not just because of our initial actions that hurt that we have to be aware of the blessing in this commandment.
It is the hurt we cause when we have been offended, when others have killed off part of us. Our desire for revenge or retribution, our inability to forgive is also a violation of this plan of God to make our lives a masterpiece.
For in striking back, in refusing to forgive, in wishing “they get what they deserve”, we are sinning as well, we are letting our anger get the best of us, we are saying unkind things toward them, and yes, we are cursing them. We let resentment wreck out lives, letting sins 3-5-20 years ago have power over us, shielding us from God’s love.
Ultimately, it boils down to faith, not in their ability to keep a promise to not hurt us again, nor in our promising not to hurt others, but trusting in the God who created us, who promises to take even what is evil, and use it for good, who promised that all things work out for good, for those who love Him, who are called into His life.
Time for Reconciliation & Healing
That is why Jesus sends people, coming to bless God with their offerings, who are struggling with others to drop their gifts, and go and seek reconciliation. To God, that is the kind of gift that He truly desires, to see people reconcile to Him, to see people reconcile to each other. TO see in those around us the value God has placed on their lives.
Which is where this becomes gospel.
For to find healing, either in the damage we have done to others, or in the damage others have done to us, we have to turn to Christ. We have to have confidence in His mercy, we have to trust in the promise of forgiveness, in His work bringing us to Himself in His death on the cross.
He’s here… ready to heal, ready to be the strength required to drop all the pain of broken relationships, to help us drop the pain caused by words, or by others cursing us.
We sang about this, just before I came up here….
Just as I am poor, wretched, blind
Sight, riches, healing of the mind
Yea, all I need, in Thee I’ll find
O Lamb of God I come I come
O I come to the Son who can heal with His wounds
O I come to the thief who has robbed ev’ry tomb
O I come to the Victor
my life and my love
O Lamb of God I come
And so, as we come to pray at this altar, it’s time to leave behind the brokenness that comes from our not treasuring our neighbor, from the pains we have caused, from the resentment we have held onto,
For Christ has promised to be our healer, our strength, our glory, and to make our lives a masterpiece… a place of peace… AMEN?
Posted on April 2, 2014, in Sermons and tagged 5th Commandment, anger, healing, life, ministry of reconciliation, murder, Name-Calling, peace, reconciliation, the Decalogue, Thou shalt not kill. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.