Eye For Eye (Exodus 21:12-35)

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Worship Your God:
Eye for Eye

Exodus 21:12-35 (Unpacking Commands 5 & 6)

Pastor Jose Lam

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Sermon Outline

Worship Your God: Eye For Eye

Exodus 21:12-35 (Unpacking Commands 5 & 6)



#5 Honour your father and your mother; live long in the land.

#6 You shall not murder.



Life is complicated


Generally speaking, it cannot be denied that the laws in this section of Exodus (Exod. 20:18-23:9) were given to help ancient Israel to apply the principles of the Ten Commandments. But they do not neatly or explicitly do so. The Ten Commandments are merely alluded to and the laws corresponding to them even appear out of order, as they apparently do in our particular passage today (21:12-35).



Why is this part of Scripture like this? At least part of the reason may be because life itself is messy and complicated. Despite the mess, God’s people back then still needed to get on with life as best they could, observing God’s Ten Commandments as He led them to the Promised Land.



As followers of Jesus today by faith, we live by grace through faith, not by works of the law. Yet we still live messy and complicated lives in a sinful and broken world. Therefore in light of how our Lord Jesus taught the Ten Commandments, we also need to study the principles behind these laws in order that we are equipped to act wisely and commend the gospel even into messy and broken situations. As we do so, we put our hope in Christ as he leads us from this broken place to the new heavens and new earth.



The link between commands five and six


Exodus 21:12-35 features laws that at certain places concern father and mother, and concern murder. As these laws are intermingled together, it implies that these commands are linked together in a way that is not obvious at first glance. 



For example, we know that honouring father and mother leads to life. We may instinctively think that failing to honour father and mother just leads to ‘shorter life’. But failure to honour father and mother actually leads to death. And so this command shares a relationship with the sixth command that you shall not murder. For both deal with how life is valued, and what are the appropriate punishments if life is unjustly diminished or taken away. The overall principle being that the punishment must fit the crime.



Intent, negligence and the value of life


Intent and negligence are factors that determine the extent of the punishment and compensations demanded for the taking or diminishing of a life. It is unpacking the principle ‘you shall not murder.’ It is helpful in defining the limits of what ‘murder’ is and is not, so that we may have a firmer foundation upon which to have a clear conscience concerning the taking of life or the diminishing of it e.g., in cases of abortion.



By carefully considering the respective punishments and compensations, we can discern something of a hierarchy of life. What may be surprising is the observation that all human life is actually valued the same and distinctly from the animals, even though the specifics of compensation are different. This recognises that all human life is valued equally under God, and also recognises that individuals are treated different from each other.



Baptism Service

Our next baptism service will be in late Q1 2023. Further details will be published closer to the date.


Individuals wishing to baptized or confirmed should get in touch with Ps Jose and must apply in writing to the ESCCC Board of Elders (


Individual classes for men and women wishing to be baptised or confirmed at ESCCC are run as needed throughout the year. These cover the matters of personal faith, church membership and public testimony over the course of three sessions.


All baptism and confirmation candidates also participate in two group sessions in the two weeks leading up to the baptism and confirmation service, presenting their testimonies and learning about the baptism and confirmation service liturgy.

Pastor Fred from Kenya (JPEM) will be in Sydney Mar 7-13, 2023.

Opportunities to interact with him and learn about what God has been doing through Ps Fred’s ministry while he is with us:

Fri Mar 10 Friday Prayer Group, 8- 9.30pm. This meeting will be held in the church and online (

Sat Mar 11 Lunch and Q&A hosted by the Young Adults 12.30 – 2.30pm, Church. Please let Bob Rick know if you are coming to assist in the catering.

Sun Mar 12  Community Spot, English and Mandarin Service.

P. Fred available to meet up individually or in your ministry group. Contact uncle Freddie.

Missions Support

In support of God’s mission, we encourage all members to give regularly to the ESCCC Missions Fund, according to your means. The EFT details can be found on the Giving and Offerings page.


The Missions Fund will be allocated by the Missions Committee to bless ESCCC and our Mission Partners in missions work.

 ESCCC Annual General Meeting

ESCCC will have its Annual General Meeting on 19th March 10:45am-11:30am in the ESCCC sanctuary. All members must attend. 

There are two resolutions:

1. To endorse the audited financial statements for 2022.

2. To nominate 2 member representatives to the Elder Nominating Committee for the upcoming elders term 2024-2025.

A formal agenda to be issued to all members at a later date.  

Town Hall meeting with the Board of Elders March 19th 2pm-3pm in the downstairs breakout room.


The theme is ‘Connect and Interconnect’


The BOE will be sharing their thoughts on what it means for us to have a greater sense of growing God’s church together by connecting people to our local church and interconnecting with one another within our church.


All ESCCC leaders of community groups, prayer groups, childrens and youth ministries have specially been invited. All members are also welcome to attend.

Prayer Meetings

Every Friday night from 8-9pm we meet over Google Meet and Sunday morning 9:00-9:30am over Zoom or in-person at church.

Electronic Giving

We give to what we love. Due to the restriction of our physical Sunday meetings as a loving precaution against the spread of COVID-19, we will not be able to collect a cash offertory as usual. Electronic giving instructions can be found on the Giving and Offerings page.

ESCCC Mailing List

Email to be added to the church’s email list to be notified of various things happening around the church.

Prayer and Praise

Next Week 12 March 2023

Worship Your God: Pay Back Double

Exodus 22:1-20 (Unpacking Commands 7 & 8)

Pastor Jose Lam


We long to see the Church being loved like Christ loves the Church.
As such we strive to care for people with the love of Christ and to prepare people to love like Christ.

The Pastors and Elders would love to serve you and help you to belong to God’s community here at ESCCC.


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