Retaliation Matthew 5:38 Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; 39 but I say unto you, That ye resist not with evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone desires to sue thee at the law, and take away thy clothing, let him have thy cloak also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him that asks of thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Love Your Enemies 43 Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those who speak evil about you, and persecute you; 45 that ye may be sons of your Father who is in the heavens, for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love those who love you, what reward shall ye have? Do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye embrace your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in the heavens is perfect.
Matthew 5:38 - 48
JUB - 38 Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not with evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
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I am not going to try to go line by line. Would take more time than I have right now and end up with the same summation. Rather, I am going to give you my simple opinion of what the entire passage means. There is a group named “I Am Third” who try to live as examples of Christlikeness. It comes from the premise that we should put God first, then others, then ourselves. In this passage God is asking us to put others (and not just those we love or like, but even our enemies) before us. We demonstrate this by willingly giving them more than they ask for as examples of Christ’s love for us.
In these verses, Jesus was speaking to the Jews, who were under the law. He had made it clear that He did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. The Bible says in John 1:17, "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." In Matthew's discourse of the sermon on the Mount, Jesus is revealing grace and truth to his people. I believe He was revealing the true Spirit behind the law, which is love. He revealed God the Father's love and mercy towards all mankind. He was showing the Jews a new and living way. A life through the Holy Spirit of God, and no longer by the letter of the law. He was teaching them to go above and beyond what the law required! In verse 48, Jesus is making a declaration by saying, "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." In this verse, I do not believe that He is commanding that they be perfect, meaning without sin, or sinless perfection; but that they be complete, or mature. According to Romans 8:4, it is only through the work of the Holy Spirit that the righteous requirement of the law is being fulfilled in us, as believers in Jesus Christ.
In this passage of scripture, the Holy Spirit is revealing directly through Christ that we are to be 'exceptional' people who stand out clearly from all others in the world in how we treat all other people. In other words, if someone who does not have the Holy Spirit can also do it, then what we are doing is not enough for GOD to find acceptable. Whatever it is we are doing, it is beneath GOD's best standards for us. This is not a 'static' set of commands, since Satan and his people constantly 'steal' revealed knowledge, mimic it, twist it, distort it and then exploit it to their advantage and our disadvantage. Satan now claims that these passages teach us to embrace 'universal tolerance' and let evil do whatever it pleases whenever it pleases, never fight back, never stand up against it, embrace defeat and be the world's punching bag. After all, Jesus Himself said so, right? There it is in black and white for the world to read. The problem with this theology is that it simply doesn't mesh with anything Jesus actually did. So what is this passage REALLY about? Jesus is clearly addressing what has come to be known as 'supreme powers.' A 'supreme power' is a power that has more than threats to use as weapons. It can literally walk right up to you and slap your face. It can force you under threat of death to march and carry its belongings for it. It can sue you and literally come and take away your possessions. It can approach you and accost you for gifts or loans and there is nothing you can do to avoid it. How did this happen? These are the 'governing authorities' the Holy Spirit mentions in Romans 13:1, (Biblical Greek: 'hyperecho exousia,' literally, 'supreme authorities'). These are the only authorities directly established by GOD Himself in order to teach the respective populations under their power His own divine lessons. Frequently, they are even 'evil' by nature. GOD raises them up and He decides when they fall. Jesus is instructing us to 'double obey' these authorities as an acknowledgement that they represent GOD Himself teaching us and are His 'earthly' tools. All 'lesser powers' which can make threats or do us harm only when we do not choose to escape, fight them off or otherwise defend ourselves with equal force are NOT included. How do I know this? Jesus Himself demonstrates this for us. For example, we read of several accounts such as Luke 4:28-30 where the Lord's words enraged an angry mob that then attempted to hurl Him off a cliff. Scripture does not record Jesus 'double obeying' them and jumping off the cliff Himself. It says that He 'passed through their midst and went on His way.' In other words, Jesus used the wisdom of GOD to escape because He COULD. He could only do so because this 'rage' was not GOD teaching a lesson. It was only men. "For the rage of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.' (James 1:20). [Next time you are tempted to join one of Satan's 'social justice' mobs even when led by people calling themselves 'Christians,' you might want to consider this more carefully]. So we can see that 'mob rule' is not from a 'supreme authority.' You should also note that Jesus didn't pay taxes even to Rome until Caesar's goons actually came out to collect them, personally. Even then, He 'helped' Caesar find some of his own lost or neglected money first, rather than pay him from out of righteous commerce or any money collected for the poor, (Matthew 17:24-27). Jesus didn't go out of His way to 'give' or 'loan' to the boisterous street beggars either. As you might recall, He taught us to 'give in secret' (Matthew 6:3-4), and only to those in obvious need, doing so in a way where they did not even see it happening, since the more 'boisterous' types tend to be corrupt agents of one of those 'lesser powers.' If they can 'corner' us, it is because they are agents of the 'supreme authority' and GOD wants us to give to them or loan to them whatever they request. That's the meaning.
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