Raca, Thou Fool

If you read the introduction at the start of the section, well done! Otherwise, here are the relevant verses from the gospel of Matthew.

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Mat ch5:v21-26
Mat 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Mat 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
Mat 5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Mat 5:25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
Mat 5:26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. (KJV)

Jesus continues His sermon by comparing unresolved disagreements between brethren to the (potential) mechanism of the state to punish evildoers. By setting the tone as severe, He states that angry disputes between brethren without cause are enough to lay such an angry one without justification before the judgement(s) of the law of the state, not resolved with that of God. (v22).

Those that would state that any such angry accusation has no place in the gospel by calling such a brother that is angry without cause an "empty head" (raca), are in danger of the court (council). They have effectively stated that they are without question owed the love and charity of their angry brother and have thereby denied their brother's equal status in Christ.

Yet those that would state "thou fool" (as an angry brother or in reply) that would wield the law of the state to enforce their accusation are in danger of being blotted out of the book of life by God.

The onus is entirely placed upon the accused to forgive His brother or indeed, settling the dispute with Him swiftly.

Even if one is 100% in the right against such an angry brother and is ready to place a gift to God on the altar,.. be first reconciled to the brother you should love, for as John stated so very eloquently:

1Jo 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (KJV)

And it is certain that to be blameless before God is to be more than simply in the right.

Jesus closes this lesson by stating that the accuser (the angry brother) may deliver even the innocent accused to the judge, officer and prison. For the justice of the courts is not as just as the justice of God: but God's justice here may seem severe... God will never intervene in a worldly dispute between two arguing brethren. He will not show any such favouritism, and He has no respect of persons. Even under that imperfect worldly justice, God will not take sides between brethren and the jailed cannot be released with any such intervention, unless they indeed pay the very last penny.

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