Matthew 5:22 Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ (An Aramaic term of contempt) is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
We sometimes use the expression “he’s in a class by himself” as a complement. When you think of it though, what a horrible state to be in, all by yourself, alone, isolated. The above passage reflects an attitude of superiority that people possess towards others. Jesus says this puts them in danger of the fire of hell. C.S. Lewis has an interesting book called The Great Divorce in which he uses story to describe what he feels may be characteristics of hell. They are probably different than what you expect. One of these main characteristics is the way people in hell choose to keep moving away from one another until they are literally in a place by themselves. Many people make a hell on earth for themselves by their attitude of contempt for others. There is an old saying that people are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges. The bible teaches that all humans have at least three things in common; they are created in the image of God, they have not lived up to that image embracing sin which separates them from God and each other, they are offered mercy and restored relationships through the love of God in Jesus. Viewed this way we have much more in common with others than we often appreciate. Where have you been in a class by yourself? Where have you been building walls instead of bridges? With whom can the grace of God connect you this week?