v 24. Go and be reconciled to that person.
It is not for us to judge David and Solomon by their actions some 1000 years before Jesus spoke these words in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus was referring to the Sixth Commandment – which both David and Solomon knew, as the Ten commandments were given long before David ascended the throne. Jesus was raising the bar higher than the ten commandments; he was considering what went on in a person’s heart before any outward action took place. He moves our thinking from the negative ‘Do not murder’ to the positive ‘Be reconciled’. If you think David and Solomon were guilty, then reflect on your own conduct in the light of what Jesus said.
The Christian pathway demands that we become reconcilers, not murderers. That requires a change of mind rather than just holding back from a wrong action. Earlier in this sermon Jesus said ‘God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.’ (v 9) Someone who is a reconciler brings about peace between people who have fallen out for some reason. Jesus is therefore talking about human relationships; when we feel out of sorts with people, we may have to take the first step to bring about reconciliation and peace between us.
You will find this attitude comes again and again in the New Testament. There was a division beginning to appear in the early church in Acts 6. This led to frank discussion and reconciliation as the Seven Deacons were appointed. In Acts 15 when there was division over the practice of circumcision, there was discussion, agreement and reconciliation.
Joyful and harmonious relationships in any context can only be brought about as we are willing to be reconcilers. That is part of our Christian duty.