When is the Judge the Killer?

While we are on the topic of God it would be good to have a look at the word judgment which is so often linked with him. The image of the man with the long beard sitting on a throne watching and judging everything we do is a bizarre concept. God is not a giant stickybeak! In fact, it is the stickybeaks of this world who will experience the full force of judgment.

Take these words that Matthew records Jesus as saying:
“You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.’ Mt 5:21

Let’s ask what is being killed and who is judging? Sure, Matthew’s report continues about being angry with your brother but the logic of my ideas about verse 21 applies also to the subsequent verses when we identify who the brother within us is.

The specific Greek word used here for kill is phoneuo which means to murder. Now murder means to kill secretly when no one is aware of what we are doing. What happens within us secretly that no one is aware of? Our opinions. All day long we decide what is good and bad without being fully informed. So in our consciousness, with our thoughts, feelings and intentions, we secretly take the life from people and things that displease us. What is more we think it is our right to do this while at the same time demanding that someone who physically kills another person be punished with a jail sentence or a death sentence.

So who is the judge? The judge has to be the killer. Judgment krisis means a separating (analysing) and then a decision. Yet how often do we separate out all the facts? Each time we are poised to take the life out of something we must take the time to do the separating.

This Greek word krisis is similar to the English word crisis which means a critical moment or a turning point. In daily life it is our opportunity to be fully conscious, fully aware so that we stop, separate out all the facts and put them back together differently each time before we make our decision – then the judge is no longer the killer.

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