No Murder!

William C. Brownson

READ : Matthew 5:21-24

You shall not murder. (Ex. 20:13)

Think of a Michelangelo working on a block of marble. We marvel at his deftness, precision. We admire his genius as he produces a majestic David. But now suppose that he could make that statue breathe, move, and speak. Suppose it would suddenly come alive!

That is what God did. He fashioned a marvelous creature from the dust of the ground. Then he breathed life into it! These human beings he formed can walk, talk, think, till the soil, study the stars. They can love. They are fashioned, the Scripture tells us, in God’s image!

Here is the ultimate tragedy of murder—to strike down God’s masterpiece, a person made in his likeness. To kill in warfare or self-defense may be a necessary evil, and the Scriptures make room for the death penalty in some cases, but the taking of any life is always a dreadful thing.

Any of us who see ourselves as incapable of such evils are deceiving ourselves. Jesus shows us the reach of God’s command to our inmost hearts (vv. 21-22). To cherish a grudge, to use terms of abuse or insult, to dismiss anyone as a worthless fool, is to move in a murderous direction.

The command calls us all to repent, to seek forgiveness in Christ, and transformation by his Spirit, so that we may truly love.


Deliver us, Lord, from all that leads to malice and murder!