leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way, first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering Matthew 5:24
Be Reconciled – When we find a word in the Greek New Testament that is used only one time, we need to pay close attention. We need to ask, “Why would the writer choose this word only in this one place?” Usually the answer will tell us something important about the thought behind the word. That’s exactly what happens here. This Greek word is a compound of dia (meaning some kind of motion) and allasso (meaning “to change”). Diallasso is only found here. Its synonym, katallasso, is found six times (see Romans 5:10 and 1 Corinthians 7:11, for example). But there is a difference that is important. Katallasso is reconciliation through change in the one who is at fault. In Romans, a man may be reconciled to God after a change occurs in him because he is at fault. In Corinthians, the wife reconciles after a change in the husband because the husband was at fault. Not so with diallasso. Jesus tells us to be reconciled even when we are not at fault. We are asked to privately seek out the other for the purpose of changing feelings even if we had no guilt in the offense.
From a human perspective, this seems all wrong. If I am not at fault, why should I be the one to seek reconciliation? Our natural thinking says, “Hey, he should ask forgiveness of me. I didn’t do anything.” But Jesus is very clear. My worship depends on clearing the air even when I have no blame. It is not enough for me to be individually pure. I must reach out to my community and be reconciled with those who are estranged from me.
Why does Jesus command such backward behavior? Because it is a reflection of His character. Jesus did nothing wrong. He could approach the altar with sinless perfection. But Jesus did not stay there. He sought out those who had issues with God in order to reconcile them to the Father. He walked the talk. If He could do that, so can I. If He could lay down His gift and humble Himself by seeking the ones who rejected and hated Him without cause, then why can’t I do the same thing?
Oh, how difficult it is for us to walk away from our piety and open ourselves to those who have something against us when we know that we are innocent. How we resist when we know we are justified. But we have forgotten that our status before the altar is the gift of One Who came to us when we were estranged, rebellious and filled with enmity. He was innocent and He reconciled us. So, follow Jesus away from the altar, and “be reconciled.”