leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:24 NABRE
Jesus has spoken to those listening about following the commands, He has come to fulfill the law. Jesus desires His followers internalize the commands, live them in our hearts. He doesn’t want us to simply follow the law He wants us to live the law heartfelt. Jesus uses those shall not kill as an example, taking it further. If you have made someone angry, it is a kind of killing and you’ll be judged. Jesus prioritizes peace and love between brothers and sisters; telling us we should not make any offering to God until we have made peace with those having something against us. If we are holding a grudge or someone needs an apology from us then before we can make an offering to God we must first reconcile those relationships in need of reconciliation. Jesus knows our offering is a false offering if we have not made peace with those who hold something against us. How can we say we love God if we don’t fully love His creation? Angering another or not seeking forgiveness when we have harmed is a false unity. God wants our love and offerings, God wants us to follow His will, but none of this is possible if there are those who are against us.
Jesus would have us leave our gift at the altar and reconcile with our brother. Imagine those hearing this in His day; people bring their animal for sacrifice, perhaps for the great Passover feast and Jesus is suggesting that they leave the animal, maybe travel quite a distance to reconcile. It is a great request but one Jesus feels is important if we are to have a true change of heart.
Do you seek to reconciliation with those you have offended? Do you continue to offer time or treasure to God when you are not fully reconciled with others?Angering another or not seeking forgiveness when we have harmed is a false unity. God wants our love and offerings, God wants us to follow His will, but none of this is possible if there are those who are against us. Click To Tweet
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