AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #6
“Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
“Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.” (Matthew 5:23–25).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The Truth is presented on several levels in this teaching. Jesus, using the practice of giving a gift or an offering to God, takes us from a practical spiritual duty to a profound Spiritual application.
We are reminded, here, that sin separates the Christian from God, and it must be dealt with quickly. Otherwise, anything you have to offer God is tainted by your recognized sin, in this case separation from a brother due to some offense.
Jesus then uses a metaphor of the law to explain what happens in the Spirit and in your soul when sin is unconfessed, and you are unrepentant toward God. You are handed over to the judge, and you are thrown into prison.
The Apostle Paul reminds us, in Romans 8:6 “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” The Greek language used here for a “mind set” is, once again, is a picture of being “swept away, fenced in and locked up”, put into a prison within one’s own mind, soul and spirit, separated from God.
Jesus, Himself warns us, “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Matthew 6:14-15
The penalty is harsh, but the remedy is simple: “Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way…”
Forgive and be reconciled. This is what a disciple of Jesus does. This is what a Christian does. We cannot deliberately and defiantly harbor ill feelings between a brother or a sister – for the jailer awaits.
Now, it is your turn:
HOW MUST YOU DO IT? ________________________________________
HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT? ____________________________________
Your Brother and Friend,