In these verses in Matthew, it is shown how important it is for a Christian family to get along. It is in our own families that we have the most difficulty, and Christ in His own words warns us that there is no reconciliation in worship if we have none for our brother. Christ is telling us that He will not accept our offering, praise, or prayer until we have reconciled.
This word “brother” is the same word that is used in the verse of Matthew1.2. Matthew1.2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Here it is used as one of a family, not as a word for a fellow believer in Christ…this is our “brother” of family kinship.
In stating that the gift must be left at the altar, Christ is emphasizing that the reconciliation must be done immediately. Having to pay the last penny emphasizes that it is better to settle by whatever means for reconciliation rather than be judged. Christ brought peace in His coming and it was peace that He left when He ascended to Heaven, and He expects us to keep it.
Matthew5.21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
Published on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 @ 6:58 AM CDT