You have heard that the ancients were told, 'You shall not commit murder' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell." Matthew 5:21-22 NASB
Jesus contrasts the statement from the law concerning murder with His statement concerning the attitude of anger that leads to murder. He stresses that true righteousness begins with one's character and leads to conduct. The word "angry" refers to brooding, inward anger that boils within a person.
The word "raca" refers to cutting another person down and insulting them. The word "fool" refers to moronic stupidity and lacking good judgment. To have such an attitude toward another person leads to inappropriate actions toward that person.
Lord Jesus, help my attitude toward other people not to be hurting and cruel but gracious and loving.
Max Hutto is a Baptist Minister. More information can be found at www.upwardlook.org.