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Matthew Chapter 5


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Chris's Matthew Chapter 5 comment about verse 38 on 4/10/2021, 7:11pm...

Hi Cary, at the personal response level, you're quite correct in saying that repaying evil for evil doesn't make one any better than the perpetrator. However, we also need to study the Scripture & context.

Jesus, in Matthew 5:38,39, was referring to the Old Testament commandments that God gave (Exodus 21:24, Leviticus 24:20, Deuteronomy 19:21). These directions were given for the proper judicial outcomes when God's Laws were disobeyed. So if it was found (by confession, by clear evidence or by witnesses) that a murder had taken place, then it was the proper judgement to mete out similar punishment as the crime. And this applied to a whole variety of offences, but such judgement was in the domain of the judges.

What was happening amongst the Jews in Jesus' day, was that those Scriptures were being applied to personal vengeance & retribution. The classic case is found in John 8:3-11, with the woman being accused of adultery to which the law required death. We see three things here: it was the religious leaders that demanded & would oversee the stoning rather than her going through an official judicial process (The Jewish Sanhedrin or the Roman Govt, depending on the crime). The person who should have cast the first stone (a large stone to the head to kill or bring to near death the criminal, & then others with smaller stones casting them at the lifeless body) failed to come forward. Jesus Word brought conviction: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." Fortunately for the woman, the leaders & the people realized that they were sinners, as she was, & were not entitled to administer punishment. And since none accused her, the matter was dropped & didn't make it to the judiciary.

So the "eye for an eye" rule was not to be carried out by the people filled with anger, set upon vengeance, but from a legally constituted system (though they too could have erred in judgement). Likewise, we too, cannot repay evil with evil rather with good.


Cary chatelain's Matthew Chapter 5 comment about verse 38 on 4/10/2021, 1:08pm...

The eye for an eye ......... Verse.how do I explain to somebody that you can't kill somebody that kills or can't steal from somebody that stole from you? Etc. I tell them you might feel like getting back at them but you would be just as bad


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