Matthew 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.
Jesus agrees with the need for God’s people to honor the Mosaic law, but offers a radically different interpretation of “righteousness”. Being right with God is not simply following the letter of the law, making sure one continues in correct actions. There’s more to it. V.23 uses the example of taking an offering to the altar of God.
Yes the law requires the offering, but the point of the offering is to bring our daily lives more closely into alignment with the heart of a loving, merciful God. When we bring an offering yet remain cross with our neighbor we’re missing the point. The offering is not the end, but a means to an end – a transformed life.
This morning I’m asking myself where the Lord wants to transform me from the inside out. Am I leaning into that transformation or am I more about going through the motions of faith? Gracious God, lean into me that I might lean into you. Amen.