How high are the standards for a Christian?  Some may argue that Judaism or Islam have higher moral standards, but is this so?  In the Bible passage assigned for this week, Jesus ‘raises the bar’ with regard to how a Christian is to behave and think.  He starts by using traditional rabbinic teaching: “you have heard that the law of Moses says do not murder….but I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgement!  If you call someone an idiot……and if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” Clearly for Jesus the sin doesn’t start with the action but with the thought.  Behind the label of ‘idiot’ is the sin of pride and contempt for others.  Worse still, is cursing someone else, or destroying their reputation.  This is tough teaching.  Who of us can honestly say that we have never been angry with people, or looked down on someone for what they have done to us, or others?  The key to understanding Jesus’ teaching is in the realisation that Christianity is about the heart.  It is not about outward ritual but inward attitude.  If we get the heart right, then everything else will flow from that and all our actions will be based on love and forgiveness just as we have been loved and forgiven.  Yes, the standards are high but we should expect nothing less from a God who, in Christ, gave everything for us.