What Jesus Did! 'Reconcile!' — Matthew 5:25-26

Thursday, February 23, 2017

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"If your enemy is taking you to court, then become friends with him quickly. You should do that before you go to court. If you don't become his friend, then he might give you to the judge. And the judge might give you to a guard to put you in jail. And I tell you that you will not leave that jail until you have paid everything you owe."
— Matthew 5:25-26

Key Thought

As Jesus helps us to better understand God's intent, character, and will revealed in the Law, he also shines the light of truth into all the corners we so often try to keep hidden from him. Jesus moves from our human sense of worship into matters of everyday life with his radical call for reconciliation with our enemies. He wants us to reconcile quickly before we get into legal proceedings with them, otherwise matters can escalate out of control and damage us as well as our influence. Jesus emphasizes the urgency of making things right. Second, as God's human children, we have always found it easy to falsely segment our lives into sacred and secular compartments, to make worship a weekly event rather than an everyday lifestyle. To keep us from thinking that reconciliation is only a "church rule" and not a "life rule," Jesus reminds us that reconciliation involves all of life, not just the "religious part." Jesus is serious about forgiveness, mercy, and reconciliation as the way of God and the lifestyle of his children.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, please forgive me for segmenting my life into little pieces and not allowing your character and will to transform me through and through. I want you to rule over every part of my life, especially my relationships. I want to walk in harmony with my brothers and sisters and in cordial concern with those who are not part of your kingdom. Empower me to forgive and release my grievance before embarrassing my Kingdom Family or causing division in your people. In the name of the Lord Jesus I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

"You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, 'Don't kill any person. And any person that kills will be judged.' But I tell you, don't be angry with another person. Every person is your brother. If you are angry with other people, you will be judged. And if you say bad things to another person, you will be judged by the Jewish council. And if you call another person a fool, you will be in danger of the fire of hell. "So when you offer your gift to God, think about other people. If you are offering your gift before the altar, and you remember that your brother has something against you, then leave your gift there at the altar. Go and make peace with that person. Then come and offer your gift. "If your enemy is taking you to court, then become friends with him quickly. You should do that before you go to court. If you don't become his friend, then he might give you to the judge. And the judge might give you to a guard to put you in jail. And I tell you that you will not leave that jail until you have paid everything you owe.

Matthew 5:21-26

Related Scripture Readings

When one of you has something against another person, why do you go to {the judges in the law courts}? Those people are not right with God. So why do you let those people decide who is right? You should be ashamed! Why don't you let God's people decide who is right? Surely you know that God's people will judge the world. So if you will judge the world, then surely you are able to judge small things {like this}. You know that in the future we will judge angels. So surely we can judge things in this life. So if you have those disagreements that must be judged, why do you take those things to people who are not part of the church? Those people mean nothing to the church. I say this to shame you. Surely there is some person in your group wise enough to judge a complaint between two brothers (believers)! But now one brother goes to court against another brother. You let men that are not believers judge their case! The lawsuits that you have against each other show that you are already defeated. It would be better for you to let someone do wrong against you! It would be better for you to let someone cheat you!

1 Corinthians 6:1-7

God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So always do these things: Show mercy to people; be kind, humble, gentle, and patient. Don't be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If another person does something wrong against you, then forgive that person. Forgive other people because the Lord forgave you. Do all these things; but most important, love each other. Love is the thing that holds you all together in perfect unity. Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking. You were all called together in one body to have peace. Always be thankful.

Colossians 3:12-15

Yes, if you forgive other people for the things they do wrong, then your Father in heaven will also forgive you for the things you do wrong. But if you don't forgive the wrong things people do to you, then your Father in heaven will not forgive the wrong things you do.

Matthew 6:14-15

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.