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Why did Jesus warn against saying the word raca in Matthew 5:22?

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Matthew 5:22 is the only passage in the Bible where the term racais used. Raca comes from the Aramaic term reqa. It was a derogatory expression meaning “empty-headed,” insinuating a person’s stupidity or inferiority. It was an offensive name used to show utter contempt for another person. Jesus warned that the use of such a word to describe someone was tantamount to murder and deserving of the severest punishment of the law.

In Matthew 5:21, Jesus recalled the sixth commandment, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). In characteristic fashion, Jesus took the old law one step further by explaining the true significance of the law—a deeper, spiritual meaning they had never seen.

First, Jesus warns that the very act of murder finds its roots in an angry, murderous spirit: “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:22a). God, who examines the very thoughts and intents of the heart, will issue judgment upon unrighteous anger. Next, Jesus warns against name-calling, using “raca” as an example (verse 22b). Then He issues a third warning against those who call someone a “fool” (verse 22c).

The first-century Jews recognized that “anyone who murders will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:21), but Jesus warns that even calling another person insulting names such as “raca” is sinful. Murder begins in the heart, and epithets such as “raca” are signs that there is hatred lurking within. The hatred that causes one person to hurl insults is the same hatred that causes another to commit murder. The attitude of the heart is the same, and it’s this attitude that makes a person morally guilty before God.

Jesus not only warns us against expressing unrighteous anger, which can lead to murder, but clearly commands that disparaging denunciations and name-calling be avoided. Such abusive words reveal the true intents of one’s heart and mind for which we will be held in judgment: “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve” (Jeremiah 17:10; cf. 1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Chronicles 28:9).

article source: Why did Jesus warn against saying the word 'raca' in Matthew 5:22?
 
Unworthy Servant
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That ye would walk worthy of God, Who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory. 1Thessalonians 2:12

For such an high priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Hebrews 7:26

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Philippians 2:15

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. Revelation 3:4


And having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised; ) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Hebrews 10:21-29
 
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Raca means empty or worthless. Maybe the closest today is to a person 'trash'.

It's the first step on the path to murder because it denies a person's humanity, and that they bear God's image. It's ok to get rid of anything that's worthless, no?
 
Unworthy Servant
Staff Member
Greetings,

Raca means empty or worthless. Maybe the closest today is to a person 'trash'.

It's the first step on the path to murder because it denies a person's humanity, and that they bear God's image. It's ok to get rid of anything that's worthless, no?
yes, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. To say that any who are so loved by God are trash, is so wrong.
All are called to repentance, to come to the Door and enter in and none are to be considered as trash.... not even ourselves. Who are we to deny the Salvation offered to all men?

When we consider Him Who suffered and endured the Cross, when we consider the cost of one lost.... when we consider the price our Father paid... .
can we dare to call another man, trash?

Jesus is Lord.


Bless you ....><>
 
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