“Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matthew 5:24).TEXT — Matthew 5:21-26
There were two brothers who lived on adjoining farms, but they had a deep quarrel. They had often shared their resources, but when that practice ceased, there was nothing left but bitterness. One morning, a brother named John answered a knock at his door. It was a carpenter. The carpenter asked if there was any work to do. John asked him to help build a big fence, “so I won’t have to see my brother or his property ever again”.
So the carpenter went to work. When he reported back, John noticed there was no fence. The carpenter had used his skill and built a bridge over the creek instead of a fence. John’s brother saw the bridge and was quite moved that his brother would do such a thing. The two brothers met in the middle and embraced. The unexpected reconciliation restored their fellowship and brought peace to them.
Jesus, in our passage, speaks about the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation. He refers His primary listeners to the Law of Moses that condemned killing. Jesus expatiated and extended it to include being angry with one’s brother without a cause. He commanded that where such a situation exists, the need for reconciliation with the aggrieved party is more important than presenting our offerings to God in service. Note that we are not being asked to reconcile with the enemies of our faith. The reconciliation is between brothers and sisters in the faith. This is how we maintain a pure conscience before God and man.
When we allow unresolved issues in our marriage and family life, the Lord will not accept our offerings. We must not cover issues under the carpet and continue our service as before. We must ensure that those who are injured by our actions are attended to before we continue with our service to the Lord.
Thought for the day
Give priority to reconciliation and peace.
- in one year
- HEBREWS 5 – 9