Jesus told us, last week, that our righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees if we’re to enter the kingdom of heaven. What Jesus is referring to is not a super-righteousness of our own, but a heart-born, Spirit empowered righteousness that grows in us once we’re united with Him by faith.
This week, Jesus beings to show us, very practically, what that righteousness looks like with six interpretations of Old Testament commandments. Jesus is not changing the commandments, merely demonstrating their intent. He begins with the sixth commandment, “You shall not murder,” and explains that murder is far more comprehensive than physically killing another. The words you use can kill with great precision. In fact, your words are an indicator of your spiritual condition, which is one of the points Jesus is making this week. He illustrates that with the sin of anger. Oh yes, anger is a sin. And Jesus reveals the character of your anger and your words gone amok and then proposes a cure and hope for progress.