“…and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” – Matthew 5:22

The word “Raca” is an Aramaic word, the language most Jews spoke in Jesus’ day. It means “empty head” or “stupid head”.

Obviously we can’t go around saying that to people, no matter how much it might seem true.

But if you do slip up and say something, the danger is temporal.

You’ll be brought before the authorities for losing your temper and mistreating another. This will result in a fine or some other form of discipline so you remember to exercise self-control in the future.

What fascinates me in this verse isn’t the word Raca though. It’s the next two words.

Thou Fool.

Literally, it should be translated “More, Fool”. We get our word “moron” from this. It implies that you believe there is no hope for this individual. That there’s something broken about them that’s not fixable.

And thus you’ve written them off.




That is the exact opposite of God’s love.

“….bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:7-8.

The very nature of love is that it’s undeserved. That means my showing love to them isn’t conditioned upon them doing anything.

That is very freeing.

I’m so thankful that even though I make some empty-headed decisions, God’s love never gives up on me. That He keeps working on me and promises to make me more like Him. And I’m glad that He gives me the privilege of showing that same love to others.

Maybe there’s someone you’ve written off. Or maybe you’ve written off going deeper with your spouse or child or friend because you don’t think they’ll ever change in a certain area. Take some time now to thank God for the never-failing love He’s shown you. Then commit to showing it to that person from now on 🙂