My Daily Journal:
1. I didn’t know for sure what the word meant so I looked it up: Raca: vain, empty, worthless, only found in Matt. 5:22. The Jews used it as a word of contempt. It is derived from a root meaning “to spit.”
2. I was moved by the 1 John 2:11 passage, “But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.”
The thought it brought to mind was the realization that anger and hatred that I carry in my are like a dark spot in my eye. That spot is blacked out and doesn’t absorb any light. Clearly greed and lust are the same way.
So, I looked up how big of a dark spot would it take to affect my vision. Literally. Here is what I learned: The receptors in our eyes are in an area called the macula. At the center of the macula is the fovea centralis. This is the “point of sharpest, most acute visual acuity.” At the center of the fovea centralis is the foveola. The closer ones cones are clustered to this are, the better your vision. A dark spot in this are, something blocking the cones, would have a significant impact on the ability to see and could cause blindness. The foveola is about 0.35 mm. In other words, a little less than half the size of this period.
So, how much anger and hatred can I allow to reside in my heart and in my eye? This was a good visual for me (no pun intended).
I want to see. I want to be able to see the world with Jesus’ eyes.
3. I had a whole part on trying to explain Matthew 5:25-26 but I moved it to Day 5
Deut 5:17 (Also Exodus 20:13)
They separated the hands from the heart. Hatred and desire to murder someone was fine as long as they didn’t physically do it. They followed the letter of the law but not the intent
Anger and hatred are in me as darkness. It is impossible to be filled with the light if I have darkness in me. Even a little darkness is blinding.
Pray, forgive, reconcile if possible – but regardless, take it out of my heart
What can I do to love and save my brother? vs. What can I do to get what is rightfully mine? Cain’s Protection (Gen 4:15) Lamech’s Arrogance (Gen 4:23-24) Eye for eye (Ex 21:23-25)