“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good for nothing!’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into fiery hell.” – Matthew 5:20-21
When reading the Ten Commandments, God does seem to be quite clear. For example, He tells us that we shouldn’t murder. Most all of us breathe a sigh of relief on this one, knowing we’ve probably never actually killed anyone. (I can hear you exclaiming, “Hey, I got one right!” as you check one off the list.) While that commandment does seem to be clear-cut, Jesus has raised the bar. He explains how God’s standards are even higher than man’s. In fact, not only is murder a sin, but thinking about it is also!
Now this is a little tougher than the first reading of the Ten Commandments. Jesus tells us that God weighs whether or not our heart and our thoughts are in line. If we lose our cool with our fellow man, and we start calling them names, we’re in danger of hell because we have broken this commandment on murder! Now that seems unfair doesn’t it? But Jesus is clear. God doesn’t just judge us by our actions, but also by our thoughts and hearts’ desires.
Now who among us can pass that test? None of us. Fortunately Jesus has paid your penalty. And all you have to do to accept this sacrifice is to agree to turn your life over to Him and accept His priceless gift of forgiveness. The Ten Commandments remind us that we all are in need of a Savior.