"You have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to the fire of hell." Matthew 5:21, 22
This is a heavy duty threat upon all, brothers and sisters. Especially born again of the Spirit believers. And it needs to be taken very seriously. Forgive me if you've received this reproof long ago. I've also known about these verses for 20+ years but they were renewed in my heart in a brand new way, today.
For some, these verses may seem too harsh. Too severe. But they actually are mild compared to other warnings from the Lord Yeshua the Anointed One. The Word of God actually demands us to go much further than this in regards to how we, creatures made in the image and likeness of God, treat each other. But before I get into that I want to talk about a couple of key words in these verses.
1st. "Raca" = Strong's # G4469 rhaká (apparently related to the Aramaic term rōq, "empty") – properly, empty-headed. This term expressed contempt for a man's head, viewing him as stupid (without sense) – i.e. a "numbskull" who acts presumptuously and thoughtlessly (TDNT).
1 occurrence in the whole Bible. Those who use this term against their brother... ("without a cause" (eike G1500), does not appear in many Greek manuscripts including the Alexandrian).) ... shall be in danger of the council. That Greek word for "council" is Strong's # G4892. sunedrion (Sanhedrin). That word is used 22 times in the New Covenant Scriptures and is always referring to "the Jewish authorities". However, we know this applies to us TODAY, so we have to take it to mean that we are in trouble with the body of Christ if we speak like that one to another.
3474 mōrós (the root of the English terms, "moron, moronic") – properly, dull (insipid), flat ("without an edge"); (figuratively) "mentally inert"; dull in understanding; nonsensical ("moronic"), lacking a grip on reality (acting as though "brainless").
[This root (mōr-) "properly refers to physical nerves causing one to become dull, sluggish (so Hipp., Aristotle); used of the mind, dull, stupid, foolish" (Abbott-Smith); "flat/insipid" (WS, 1062). 3474 (mōrós) is used ironically of apparent stupidity in 1 Cor 1;25,27, 3:18.]
2nd. "You fool" = Strong's # G3474. móros (the root of the English terms, "moron, moronic") – properly, dull (insipid), flat ("without an edge"); (figuratively) "mentally inert"; dull in understanding; nonsensical ("moronic"), lacking a grip on reality (acting as though "brainless").
12 Occurrences in the New Covenant Scriptures.
Jesus says, anyone who uses this term against your "brother" (adelphos, which is often translated "brethren"), "is subject" ("enochos" - held in, bound by, liable to) the fire of hell (greek: géenna (a transliteration of the Hebrew term, Gêhinnōm, "the valley of Hinnom") – Gehenna, i.e. hell.
"Gehenna ("hell"), is the place of post-resurrection torment (judgment), refers strictly to the everlasting abode of the unredeemed where they experience divine judgment in their individual resurrection-bodies. Each of the unredeemed receives one at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-15), i.e. a body that "matches" their capacity for torment relating to their (unique) judgment." (HELPS Word-studies)
If we meditate on these verses with an open heart and are able to look at ourselves realistically, we should accurately realize that WE (ourselves) are the biggest morons we know. And I don't mean this as an insult. Paul himself uses this word in 1 Corinthians 1:27; "...but God has chosen the foolish ( G3474. móros - moronic) things of the world to shame the wise,..."
So calling our brother "moron" would be a critical blindness on our own part. As we were all moronic, in ignorance, unworthy of God. And we were saved by God's undeserved mercy and favor (grace) toward us. And it is by this undeserved mercy and favor that we stand.
So, it's not just the word, "moron", but the hypocritical and blind heart it proceeds from. And so we MUST take this rebuke from the Lord very seriously and receive it and let it mold us forever. Let us always fight to never say this word, but to go deeper, to pray God change our heart and make us see ourselves for who we really are. And never forget that we don't have the right to say this to ANYONE.
Now to compare these verses to other verses. I said these verses are mild and God requires that we go much further. He not only says not to say these words, but He commands us to LOVE our brothers and sisters and to esteem them better than ourselves. And not just our brothers! Our enemies! Yes, these are the commandments of God. And I love God for them. Because God is wonderful. And He wants us to treat each other with dignity, respect and love. And THIS is true believing my friends.
Jesus says, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:55
And as John says, "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is perfected in us." 1 John 4:20
If we don't have this love, we need to ask ourselves: “Why?” Don't we know God loves us? And don't we realize how unworthy we were of that love? We are to share God's love for others. In the exact way God explains in His Word. That is why we must study His Word. And seek Him, and pray unceasingly.
This is my part of keeping, "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:" Hebrews 10:24
All in time brethren. This is a process. Starting as babes in Christ and growing into His fullness. Don't ever be discouraged but keep praying, keep seeking to go forward and keep learning. We have to! And God promises to help us as we go!
In Matthew 5, why is the punishment so great if we call our brother "moron" ("thou fool" KJV)?
Because who are WE? If we want to find a moron we need only look in the mirror. We are all full of flaws. And being so, we all need to fully depend on God's undeserved mercy (grace) with all our heart. His grace is our only hope. Nothing else will help. Acknowledging this is acknowledging God's love for us. And that love works through us and takes over our lives the closer and closer we get to God and our eyes being opened more and more to His greatness, compassion, mercy and love. This is growing in grace (2 Peter 3:18) and it is growing into the fullness and the stature of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). It's not up to us to judge and condemn others. But to preach the gospel. If they reject it, they will face the Judge and answer for themselves. However, we had better be representing God accurately and preaching the truth in love from a sincere heart. Because we are all going to be judged by God.
"There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?" James 4:12
"Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand."
"So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop judging one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way." Romans 14:4; 12-13
“You, too, be patient and strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near. Do not complain about one another, brothers, so that you will not be judged.
BEHOLD, the Judge is standing at the door!” James 5:8-10
"For the Son of Man will come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will repay each one according to what he has done." Matthew 16:27
"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be dissolved in the fire, and the earth and its works will not be found. Since everything will be dissolved in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to conduct yourselves in holiness and godliness as you anticipate and hasten the coming of the day of God, when the heavens will be dissolved by fire and the elements will melt in the heat.
But in keeping with God’s promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells." 2 Peter 3:10-13
We need to make sure we are judging ourselves, everyday. Walking in the righteousness only God can provide, and that, through FAITH in His (undeserved, unmerited) GIFT of His Christos-Son Jesus. To make sure we are removing the plank or beam from our own eye so we can see clearly to help our neighbor with the mote or speck in their eye. Because you know what the Lord says preceding this admonition right? He says those who do not remove the beam in our own eye FIRST, are hypocrites! (Matthew 7:4, 5)
I'm saying this because I've seen professing believers preaching in the streets with a questionable spirit. A bitter and angry spirit. As if the person is doomed then and there for rejecting that obviously bitter and hateful spirit in you!
Let's learn from Paul and how he spoke to sinners:
"Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Can you persuade me in such a short time to become a Christian?” “Short time OR LONG, Paul replied, “I wish to God that not only you but all who hear me this day may become what I am, except for these chains.” Acts 26:28, 29
Paul didn't condemn them to hell because they weren't receiving the Word of God right away.
And Paul says here,
"First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men for kings and all those in authority, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires ALL MEN to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:1-4
I pray we all receive God's Word in our heart and that God's Word bear much fruit within us. A hundredfold! In Jesus' holy Name! Amen
Yours in Christ Jesus, Tommy Richards
You can be saved!
God loves the people in the world so much that He came down to die for us. If God is opening your heart to His message and you feel convicted for your sins which have separated you from a holy God and you feel the need to be forgiven, then say this prayer. This is how I was powerfully converted to the Christ in 1997!
Say, "My Lord and my God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe Jesus the Christ died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. I believe Jesus raised from the dead and ascended into heaven and is now on the right-hand side of God listening to this prayer. I open up the door of my heart and I invite You in, Lord Jesus. Thank you, God, for saving my soul and I vow to serve you with all my heart which is the first and greatest commandment. Amen."