Jesus on Anger and Conflict Matthew 5:21-26

October 6, 2019

Matthew 5: 21-26 and 27-30

My thesis for the study:

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus teaches us how to live in the world. Jesus gives actual instruction and formation. More than rules or law, the SOM is a set of convictions about moral truth.


Where? Summary: Since all of Jesus actions and teachings show us that he is not interested in mere rule-keeping righteousness, we find that he is working for restoration, and that he places high demands upon those who follow him.




1.     Start with one or two quotes. Did not expect to be talking about hell.

“The holiness of God is at war with all birreness, hatred and hurting” Frederich Dale Bruner,  The Christbook: Mattehw 1-12 rev and expanded 213

“God has threatened hell, not in order to sast us therin, but that he might persuade us to flee [from it]” Chrysostom quoted by FD Bruner ibid. 213.


2.     Welcome: Hi Pals, this is Blaine Hill with the Simply Stated Podcast for the Journey Sunday School class at Lake Murray Presbyterian Church in Chapin, SC. Today we are reading Matthew 5:21-26, and if time allows, verse 27-30. That means it is rage and resentment day at Simply stated, and lust, if we don’t get stuck in anger.

3.     Listen know the God’s word:

4.     Read 5:21-26


5.     Todays’ passage, and the rest of this chapter helps us understand something puzzling from last week.

Jesus said 5:17-fulfill.

Very traditional and correct way of understanding is to say Jesus accomplishes the law. He does what they require.

Let’s look at Jesus’ own words about the law

We can clearly see and understand what Jesus means when he said that he fulfills scripture.

For the rest of chapter, Jesus repeats a phrase: “You have heard that it was said, [then he mentions something from the law], but I say to you…

And then Jesus gives a teaching. That second teaching is his fulfilling the law.

You have heard it said…I say…

·       Murderàrage, contempt and resentment

·       Adulteryàlust

·       Love neighboràlove enemies

Jesus is explicitly contrast the OT scripture here!


6.     A few points stated simply

a.     Think I was wrong last week, when I said that be angry here was to act out in rage.. Anger could be furious rage, but the word also means lingering resentment. Jesus is addressing nursing a grudge.

b.     Insult. The word Jesus used was Raca which sounds rough and contemptuous. We don’t know the exact meaning, but it is not nice. Maybe it is like the word stupid. If we call someone stupid, that is a surprisingly strong insult.

c.     You fool: idiot. Moron.

d.     If I do something foolish, and someone wants to tease me about it, they could do it without attacking or insulting me, especially by changing their tone: “Blaine, that was not smart!” I might not like it, but I’ll perceive they are really pointing out my misjudgement. But if they  call me a name or ugly word—and we all know what those very hostile words are—that is painful.

e.     If you know a child that has been verbally abused by a parent—or God forbid, you were—you have seen the damage verbal attacks can inflict.

f.      Judgement:  magistrate’s office

g.     Sanhedrin--supreme court

h.     Hell of Gehenna—very specific place. The smouldering dump outside of the city of Jerusalem. Maybe compare to the sewage plant

i.      Pretty clear that Jesus meant this to be suprising and shocking, an unexpected escalation.

j.      Brother or sister—another Christian.

k.     Temple—place of sacrifice in Jerusalem. Hugely important action in the life of faithful Jews. And Jesus is saying to leave, to go patch things with someone. Maybe we could understand it if we say, “If you are walking forward to take the Lord’s Supper, and you remember that a brother or sister has something against you.

l.      Court—seems to be debtors prison.



7.     Jesus introduces himself as the key to scripture

a.     Person

b.     Theology

c.     Ethics

d.     Eternity


8.     What do Jesus words reveals about who he is.

9.     What theological idea can we draw from this teaching?

10. What ethical teaching or guide can we take from this teaching?

11. How does this teaching link our everyday life and eternity?


13. Person.

a.     First, Jesus is claiming a level of authority that is hard for us to first recognize, authority not simply to interpret scripture, but to bring it to fullness. Do not murderàanger, resentment, cussing at people, settling disagreements.

b.     If we think about Jesus and anger.


14. Theology: Our relationship with God is directly linked to our relationship to other people. Our day to day treatment of others is directly connected to eternity.

15. Ethics (Bruner’s little steps) How will we deal with conflict, either our wrong or theirs?

a.     When we recognize that someone has something against us, that is the moment to begin to make it right

b.     Try to settle difficulty directly with the other person

c.     Movement from holding something against someone, to having hurt someone else.

16. Eternity.

a.     The power of resentment to enduringly poison us and our relationship

b.     Caveat: Our understanding of Hell is colored by Dante, Milton and of cartoon devils and angels. It is quite difficult to set some of that aside to clearly listen to Jesus’ words about hades or the Kingdom of Heaven.

c.     Remember that in his  Jesus first public teaching, Jesus says—“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Mt 4:17

                                                   i.     We are called to turn to a different way of living-Repent

                                                 ii.     KoH is something we can experience at present

d.     Jesus is the one raised to be the first person to enter eternal life, and be raised up into heaven. He promises the thief on the cross to be with him


17. Since all of Jesus actions and teachings show us that he is not interested in mere rule-keeping righteousness, we find thathe is working for restoration, and that he places high demands upon those who follow him.


18. What is Jesus relationship to the law and the prophets (Scripture)?

a.     Not to abolish

b.     Fulfill

c.     Accomplish




19. Least and greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Bounus: Tragedy as conflict of two virtues in a character.