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Jesus Reveals God's True Intent Behind the Law, Part 4

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Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

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TEXT: Matthew 5:23-24: "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."

Lee Strobel said, "If you're a follower of Jesus but you feel distant from him in your life, if you're having difficulty resting easy in his forgiveness, could it be because you're blatantly refusing to let go of your animosity toward another person?"

We have been talking in great detail about how all people, but especially followers of Christ, are judged not just by their actions, but by their hearts, their thoughts, and their words. The Law commands us not to kill; but Jesus commands us not to harbor murderous, hateful thoughts and not to speak angry, hateful words to or about another human being. As he continues in this Sermon On the Mount, He indicates that if we do not maintain good relationships with our fellow human beings, we cannot have a good relationship with God. He uses, as an example, the then-common action of a person bringing a gift to God by presenting it at the altar in the Temple. If, while at the altar, the man remembers that his brother (a family member, friend, or acquaintance) has "ought" (anything at all) against him, Jesus says, "Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."

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