The Gospel of Matthew: Anger. Part Three.

25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.” (Matthew 5:25–26 ESV)

Jesus taught that it is not only sufficient to confess anger as sin, but also to make things right with an offended brother or sister in Christ. This involves not only our discipline within the believing community but also in the greater societal community. How quickly must reconciliation be done by the believer with their accuser?

“While Matthew 5:24-25 deals with the reconciliation of an offended brother, vv.25-26 appear to address the problem of conflict in larger society; in this case, legal conflict. Christians are to work for reconciliation in all areas of life,” states Dr. R. C. Sproul.   

Jesus taught the believer was to quickly come to terms with an accuser. The phrase come to terms (εἰμί εὐνοέω; eimi eumoeo) means to settle the case. It is an emphatic command involving not only the individual’s attitude but also behavior. In other words, the entire person. A believer in Christ cannot achieve reconciliation if they are insincere. If they are sincere, then they will do all they can to achieve reconciliation. See Romans 12:9-21.

“The importance of reconciliation is illustrated by the example of the person who is about to be judged in court. Not to be reconciled will have disastrous consequences on a human level but much more so if one is not reconciled to God,”  explains Dr. John MacArthur.

“Such wrongful attitudes should be dealt with and made right. Reconciliation between brothers must be accomplished whether the “innocent” (5:23–24) or the “offending” (vv. 25–26) brother takes the first step. Without such reconciliation, gifts presented at the altar mean nothing: Even on the way to a court trial a defendant should seek to clear up any such problem. Otherwise the Sanhedrin, the Jewish court of 70 members, would send him to prison and he would be penniless,” explains commentator Louis A. Barbieri.

Have you ever been in conflict with someone? Perhaps, it may have been with a company that you hired, or your insurance company did, in order to correct a problem, or damage, to your automobile or house. The result may have been litigation between the insurance company and the organization they hired on your behalf; and you are caught in the middle of the situation.  

As much as it depends on you personally, be at peace with all people (Romans 12:18). Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Soli deo Gloria!

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