The Little Member, the Big Killer!
What Did Jesus Say About the Dangerous Tongue?
Words that don’t Reflect God’s Grace
· Last week I wrote about stepping outside of grace. That happens when born-again believers choose to do what they want rather than doing what God tells them to do. Today, I am picking up with "Watch that Tongue"
· Jesus used the word Raca, which comes from the Aramaic term reqa. It was a derogatory expression meaning “empty-headed,” insinuating a person’s stupidity or inferiority. It was an offensive name used to show utter contempt for another person. Jesus warned that the use of such a word to describe someone was tantamount (being almost the same or having the same effect as something, usually something bad) to murder and deserving of the severest punishment of the law.
· Footnote from NKJV Cultural Background Study Bible – The insult “Raca” (essentially meaning, “empty” “devoid of value”), was roughly equivalent to the common insult, “Fool.” The punishments also be equivalent, if the “judgments” and the “council” refer to the tradition, attested in later Jewish literature, of a heavenly court.
· This is what Jesus said about the and how harmful it is. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of judgment. And whoever says to his brother, Raca! shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, You fool! shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matthew 5:22).
Who gives anyone the right to call others derogatory names. That’s another reason people in certain positions should be especially careful not to use words that don’t reflect God’s grace.
· Maybe some people need to dig deeper into the Word and find out what the meaning is in the original language. When I was writing about the “tongue” from James, chapter three, something in the scripture caught my attention that I did not understand and the Holy Spirit gave the answer through my teacher.
· From that, I looked at what some scholars wrote for comparison, and two of their footnotes lined up with what my teacher said. If anyone is solely depending on someone else’s comments or opinions, something is wrong with the picture.
· The Word of God tells us to study to show ourselves approved to God…. 2 Timothy 2:15, instead what someone else is saying. They can be wrong, but the Spirit of God is never wrong, He will help them to understand what they have read and He will also place people (teachers called by God) in their/our path to assist them with their spiritual growth (give them the right understanding).
Additionally, many commentaries say something different and that leaves the people confused.
· Please be open to what the Spirit of God is saying, there are consequences that result from looking down on somebody and labeling them (calling them names). God made them and He loves them, even though they act out of character, so do we. They may live below our standard of living, but we are not better than them.
· To those of you who are guilty of calling people names that don’t reflect the glory of God, for your own sake, don’t call them “Fools”
~ Betty A. Burnett ~