The doctor places the stethoscope on you chest and he listens and he tries to determine what's going on on the inside. This is exactly what Jesus is interested in. What does He hear from our hearts as He uses a spiritual stethoscope?
Jesus said, "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca,' (empty headed or good for nothing) shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell"......and later in the same chapter He said, "but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:22,28). Jesus, the greatest of all teachers, begins where sin begins. He gets to the heart of matter in such a way that causes all honest searchers to admit sin. Perhaps there were many that heard Jesus who would have no problem proclaiming that they had never committed murder or adultery. While such innocence is important, Jesus goes further than that, because He is interested in the person and what's happening on the inside of that person, and not just the outward observance of the law.
Murder and adultery begin in the heart. Get the heart right and you solve the problem before it becomes a crime. Just as crops begin with seeds in the soil, so actions, whether they be good or evil, begin with seeds in the heart. A passage in Philippians has some good seed recommendations saying, "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever has a good name, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things" (Philippians 4:8).
One reason it is good to spend time in prayer and in the word of God is that our hearts are judged and brought into the light so that correction is possible. The Hebrew writer says, "the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
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