Once upon a time a man had two enemies who hated him so much they desired to kill him. One day he decided to take a trip across the desert and both his enemies heard about this. After he had gone to sleep one of his enemies slipped into his tent and put poison in his only water bottle intending to kill him on the journey so that his body would not be found. Later that same night his second enemy, not knowing what the first had done, also slipped into his tent. He punctured the man’s water bottle so that it would slowly evaporate during the journey and the man would die of thirst and his body never be found.
The next day he left on his journey and soon perished in the wilderness from dehydration. Which of his enemies murdered him? Why?
His first enemy would defend himself saying that he had intended to poison the man and he certainly did not die from poison so he was innocent. The second enemy would defend himself by saying that he had merely prevented the man from drinking poison and certainly that should not make him guilty of murder.
Why is it important to know who is responsible for murdering this man? Does Matthew 5 apply to this story? Why or why not?
Jesus said “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.