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Anger can be a natural and quick response that dies down instantly (thumos in Greek), or a deep-rooted and lasting anger that sustains for long (orge in Greek). The second type is more dangerous and can lead to revengeful acts. According to Jesus, such nurtured anger is punishable. Paul instructs, “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun set on your anger” (Eph 4:26).

Anger against sin does not fall into this category. Jesus expressed anger against sin. He demonstrated his rage against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Mk 3:5) by driving out the merchants and money changers (Jn 2:14-16) from the Temple. Not anger against sin but lasting anger prompted by deep-seated hatred of others is what Jesus would want subjected to judgement. Christians should avoid nursing ongoing anger or hatred that can lead to murder. “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him” (1 Jn 3:15).

The judiciary of the Israelites looked only at the act of murder. Jesus went beyond the act and presented hatred and anger as the cause of murder. Besides the act of murder, he gave importance also to the resentment and the intention behind it even if the murder did not take place.


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