Imagine that you are living in Galilee during Jesus’ time. You have traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Festival of Booths. The city is bustling with fellow worshippers who are visiting from far and wide. You want to present an offering to Jehovah. So with a goat in tow, you begin to make your way through the crowded alleys of the city toward the temple. When you arrive, the temple is packed with others who also wish to present a sacrifice. Finally, it is your turn to hand your goat over to the priests. At that moment, you remember that your brother, who could be anywhere in the crowd or in the city, has something against you. Jesus explains what you should do. (Read Matthew 5:24.) How can you and your offended brother pursue peace as Jesus directs? In each of the lists below, put a check mark next to the correct answer.


  • speak with your brother only if you think that he has a valid reason for being upset

  • try to correct your brother’s thinking if you feel that he is overly sensitive or shares the blame for the problem

  • listen patiently as your brother expresses himself, and even if you do not fully understand, sincerely apologize for the hurt he feels or for the unintended consequences of your actions


  • seek the support of others in the congregation by telling them how you wronged him

  • berate you, review every detail of the offense, and require you to admit fault

  • recognize the humility and courage it took for you to approach him and forgive freely from the heart

Although our worship today no longer includes animal sacrifices, what was Jesus teaching about the connection between peace with our brother and acceptable worship to God?