Saturday, 17 May 2014

Matthew Giving as much and more than due

Matthew 5: 38 – 42 GIVE (See also Luke 6: 27 - 36)

Verse 38
Jesus begins by quoting a the eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth concept from the Old testament (Exodus 21: 24, Lev. 24: 20, Deut. 19: 21)

But then he tells us to go beyond this and give!

39 I but say to you plural Do not STAND AGAINST EVIL μὴ ἀντιστῆναι τῷ πονηρ!

This is usually translated in to English as resist though it literally means stand against and is also an excellent example of an Aorist Infinitive used as an Imperative Command like several other verbs in this section.

But whoever you accusative strikes onto, εἰς means onto or on here, note accusative of motion, the right cheek, turn στρέψον an Aorist Imperative, to him / her, read καὶ as also, the other cheek.

40 and he who wishes or wants from you to have after a judgement your tunic taken let him also take the cloak.

Note the evils he speaks of resisting are minor and seem petty to us. Bear in mind he spoke at a time when one or two tunics and an cape or cloak as an over garment might be a person's only clothes. The tunic taken might be your other best embroidered linen kept for special occassions and hence a valuable item that could be sold to pay a debt.

Note κριθῆναι an Aorist Passive Infinitive

41 Jesus then applies this to a law stating Roman soldier could force ἀγγαρεύσει civilians to carry their packs for a mile or so. He asks his listeners not to carry the pack for just one mile but two!
We should fulfil our civil and legal obligations to the fullest extent and generously.

42. Finally, and check Luke 6: 27 – 36 for a parallel verse, he states to him or her who asks you GIVE δός and those wishing from you to make a loan / middle so borrow from you not turn away / refuse. Δανίζω and ἀποστρεφω.

Read this and then the next linked following section about loving enemies.

It is not enough to give and love when it is easy. Jesus challenges us here.

May the Divine have mercy onto all us sinners who fall short of this and other challenges.