Matthew 5: 21-37
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgement.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister, will be subject to judgement. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca, is answerable to court. Anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all; either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Jesus Christ teaches each of us there is a greater righteousness than one that is only outwardly obeying the law. God wants us to be changed inwardly by receiving his grace of forgiveness offered through Jesus Christ. Our hearts along with the way we live will be changed. We will react in love–not in anger. We will live at peace with our neighbor–even when it comes with a cost. We will remain faithful in all our commitments to God, our marriage, and also others. Do not make promises–only say “yes” or “no”. If we do not repent and change, we will receive the judgement of God. If we do repent, God will give us his grace to be able to change.
Father thank you for your gift of your Son, to be able to humble ourselves in repentance of all sin and to receive your grace to change our hearts and the way we live, treat others. Send your Holy Spirit to continue your work in our lives daily. We love and praise you. In Jesus’ name, amen.