“You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you, don’t resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to the one who asks you, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Eye for eye - ; ; Deut 19:21
Not to abolish but to fulfill - how does that apply to this?
Law of retaliation had been abused to promote personal revenge. Lex talionis similar to the code of Hammurabi, is prominent in the Torah as God’s means of providing justice and of purging evil from among His ppl. This was imposed by civil authorities and courts and was intended to discourage private revenge. Offended individuals were to biased to be to administer justice. It was intended to protect the public, punish offenders, and deter crime. This frees up individuals to love and serve one another.
Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh.
“You must not harbor hatred against your brother. Rebuke your neighbor directly, and you will not incur guilt because of him. Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh.
Don’t say, “I will avenge this evil!” Wait on the Lord, and He will rescue you.
public insult - cheek , symbolic insult on someones dignity and honor
to turn other is to show they are so secure in their dignity they don’t need to retaliate
- don’t seek personal vengeance 39
legal setting - The cloak was the outer robe (cf. 27:35), which was an indispensable piece of clothing. When it was given as a pledge, it had to be returned before sunset since it was used by the poor for a sleeping cover (; ; ; .). Jesus makes a startling demand of his disciples. They must reverse the dynamic. Instead of defending themselves or seeking retaliation, they must give to this person who is so unfairly attempting to take their most basic necessities.
Wilkins, M. J. (2004). Matthew (p. 250). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
- don’t allow problems to go to court, better to sacrifice personally than to
focus on your self.
military scene - occupying forces could demand civilians to serve them, requirement was one mile.
- if you are required to fulfill a certain standard even against your rights,
don’t just do the minimum, go further.
uncomfortable people - beg or borrow, debt 15:7-11 required God’s people to lend to the poor among them. Jesus widens this to whether they may be legitimately poor or not. loan to enemies. Jesus himself lived out this principle
- serve needs where they present themselves.
- don’t give people the opportunity to be your enemy, have something against you.
what would it take to be this generous?
- This is the ultimate path to victory. On a personal level you can’t force me to be generous, I’m not a slave of my adversaries I’m a slave of God.
Eternal life can’t be killed, eternal purpose can’t be thwarted, and eternal joy can’t be stolen but they are contagious!
Does this mean we don’t stand up for others? Do we allow injustice to go unmatched?
“Wash yourselves. Cleanse yourselves. Remove your evil deeds from My sight. Stop doing evil. Learn to do what is good. Seek justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause.
reinstate justice in your community.
reinstate justice in your community.
How does/did God exemplify this? Jesus life
Love neighbor hate enemy ; Duet 23:6;
love not just neighbor but enemies , destroy enemies by cleansing them and bringing them in to Israel.
The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.
A mongrel people will live in Ashdod, and I will destroy the pride of the Philistines. I will remove the blood from their mouths and the detestable things from between their teeth. Then they too will become a remnant for our God; they will become like a clan in Judah and Ekron like the Jebusites.
Love/bless pray for do good to those who hate you. SO THAT you may be children of God! Wow!! 1 John/James the family relationship includes the obligation to act like a son or daughter, love as Father loves.
Love not just don’t hate, not just be indifferent towards, actively love them.
Both the evil and the good are part of God’s creation, also all the good started out evil.
example: Paul - enemy (Ananias)
Be different than the world, follow God’s standard, have His heart.
Be perfect? Without sin? Is this meant to be a statement of our inability to perform what He’s suggesting?
Perfect : teleioi - whole, complete verses blameless or pure
what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may have fellowship along with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him.
1 John 1:
So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose. Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world. Hold firmly to the message of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run or labor for nothing. But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. In the same way you should also be glad and rejoice with me.
we see this idea taught in the Old Testament as well. You shall be perfect before your God. Tamim - whole, complete, perfect (not holy/sinless but complete)
You must be blameless before the Lord your God.
you shall be perfect before your God. Tamim - whole, complete (, ; josh 10:13
For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.
“You are to count seven complete weeks starting from the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the presentation offering.
, ; josh 10:13
And the sun stood still and the moon stopped until the nation took vengeance on its enemies. Isn’t this written in the Book of Jashar? So the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed its setting almost a full day.
I will destroy among his people anyone who does any work on this same day.
Leviticus 23:30; josh 10:13
transformed into his image
Be transformed into his image
Your enemies act as they do because they are missing something. They are dead, thirsty, trying to fill a void that’s why they act the way they do, that’s what’s driving them.
God can be loving, faithful, forgiving because He is whole, He doesn’t need to seek fulfillment He is complete, and in His completeness He gives generously.
When we are transformed from the dominion of darkness to light we also are made whole and we too can give, serve, and love all because our source comes from Above.
Example of Jesus on the cross and Stephen being stoned. In their harsh net of suffering from their greatest enemies they loved to the point of interceding for the sins of their persecutors. They knew those people didn’t know any better, where not whole, and if they only had what we have they wouldn’t be acting this way.
Our personal suffering should break our heart for the lostness of our persecutor and we should view it as an evangelistic opportunity.