Irritations Into Pearls Matthew 5:21-24 Rabbi Michael Weiner
Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore if you are presenting your offering upon the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
When a verse starts with the word “therefore,” we have to see why. Yeshua is explaining that being angry is sin (comes under judgment) as well as speaking harshly to one another. He has just finished the beatitudes as He lays out the character standards for the kingdom of God.
These two verses put forth an important principle. It is on God’s heart for us to be right with each other. He considers it a prerequisite to getting right with Him. “First be reconciled to your brother, (get right with each other first) and then come and present your offering (then get right with God). Other scriptures confirm this.
1 John 4:20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For the one who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that the one who loves God should also love his brother.
I want to confess something. There are people I don’t like. I hesitate to say that, because some of you are paranoid and will immediately think it’s you. Let me put you at rest.
Yesterday, I was sharing this thought (that I don’t like certain people) when the person with whom I was talking said, “What if those people you don’t like, are in heaven?” Of course, I had a smart-alec answer, but really, what if they are acceptable to God and not to me? Yeshua’s words demand that I fix my attitude. As my rabbi, Dan Juster, has told me, “You can always repent.” I do, how about you?
A pearl starts out as an irritation. Let’s turn our irritations into pearls. To carry this just a little further. How dare we devalue God’s creation? He created each person for His own good pleasure. So what if some of them irritate me? The irritation is probably due to a flaw in my character. After all, Yeshua has the perfect character and He loves me, but I’ve given Him plenty of opportunities not to.
John 13:34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so also you must love one another.
The world is waiting for this, the next verse. John 13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. The salvation of the world depends on this, we’ve got to get it right.