Held to a Higher Standard
For I say unto you that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
You 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. 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.
Therefore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar and you remember that your brother has something against you, Leave your gift there, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Yesterday we discussed the fact that Jesus was the only person who had never broken any of the commandments. He was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. In this verse, we learn who he was not referring to when he was speaking of the “least of the kingdom” He says that if your righteousness does not exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you would not enter the kingdom of heaven.If you expect to be even the least in the kingdom of Heaven, you are held to a higher standard than the Scribes or the Pharisees.
He went on to say that he holds his followers to a higher standard when it came to sin. Not murdering was no longer the moral goal. Now the goal was to not be angry without cause.“Raca” is an Aramaic transliteration for “reka,” a term expressing contempt, scorn, or disdain. The Greek word “rhaka” means worthless, vain or empty one, signifying a lack of intellect (i.e. Imbecile or blockhead). It is only found in Matt. 5:22. The word was derived from a root word meaning “to spit”, and the Jews used it as a word of contempt.
Now that we have a definition of this word “raca”, I picture someone who is so angry at someone that they literally spit on the ground at the mention of that person’s name. It gives the impression concerning the idea behind shunning someone. If you say that someone else is “stupid” or an “idiot” you’re held accountable to it. You are held to a higher standard.
When we take the time to talk with God, when we take the time to bring our tithes and offerings to further the God’s kingdom, even though it is a good thing, and an important thing to do, your bigger responsibility is to go and ask your brother for being angry with him. Why? You are held to a higher standard.