Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Sermon on the Mount, Part VIII of XL


TEXT: Continuing with Matthew 5: 21.
"You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.' 22 But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire.

COMMENTARY: This is yet another, rather dramatic, reference to
karma-- this time, in its more hellish forms. Insulting others, creating personal scandal or libel, is a very serious error ("sin"). It leads to some heavy-duty karma. Jesus says that it is analogous to even murder!

Instead, we are supposed to forgive each other of errors and mistakes.
This means to behave as if they never happened! This frees us from some scary karma!

23. So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

COMMENTARY: Worship ("altar") is ineffective if we are not at peace with other human beings. Performing ceremonies of worship is unacceptable as long as we do not have peace with other human beings.

Worship is sullied, contaminated, and polluted by this absence of peace.

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