Sin: As Serious As Murder

We often underestimate the seriousness of our sin. Jesus teaches that sin is not just about our actions but also about the state of our hearts. In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus expands on the commandment "You shall not murder," explaining that even anger and contempt towards others can equate to murder in God's eyes. This teaching is a stark reminder that sin is more pervasive and insidious than we want to acknowledge.

The Pharisees of Jesus’s time were meticulous about following the Law of Moses but missed the heart of the Law. Their focus was on external adherence rather than internal transformation.  God had their hands, but they never gave Him their hearts.

Jesus emphasizes that true obedience involves our thoughts and attitudes, not just our outward actions. Sin, therefore, isn't just about doing wrong; it’s about being wrong at the core of our being.  We sin because we are sinners.  

Our anger and harsh words can be as destructive as physical violence. When we insult or demean others, we commit what Jesus calls "heart murder" and "word murder." These sins indicate a deeper spiritual issue that needs to be addressed through genuine repentance and transformation.

We need to depend on Jesus, who fulfilled the Law perfectly, to transform our hearts. Recognizing the severity of our sin should drive us to seek God's grace and allow His Spirit to change us from the inside out. Only through this transformation can we align our hearts with God’s character and live in true obedience.

Discussion Questions — Talk about these things with your small group, family, or friends this week:

•How does Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 5:21-22 change your understanding of sin?
•In what ways have you been tempted to view sin as merely external actions rather than internal attitudes?
•Can you identify instances of "heart murder" or "word murder" in your own life? How can you address these sins?
•How can recognizing the seriousness of your sin deepen your dependence on Jesus?

What steps can you take to seek reconciliation with others as a reflection of God’s love and grace in your heart?