Matthew 5: 38 — 48
Ordinary 7 Year A
New American Bible
38 25 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a
39 But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When
40 If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him
41 Should anyone press you into service for one mile, 26 go with
42 Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on
43 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your
44 But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who
45 that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes
46 For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you
47 And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about
48 So be perfect, 30 just as your heavenly Father is perfect.
25 [38-42] See ⇒ Lev 24:20. The Old Testament commandment was meant to moderate vengeance; the punishment should not exceed the injury done. Jesus forbids even this proportionate retaliation. Of the five examples that follow, only the first deals directly with retaliation for evil; the others speak of liberality.
26  Roman garrisons in Palestine had the right to requisition the property and services of the native population.
27 [43-48] See ⇒ Lev 19:18. There is no Old Testament commandment demanding hatred of one’s enemy, but the “neighbor” of the love commandment was understood as one’s fellow countryman. Both in the Old Testament (⇒ Psalm 139:19-22) and at Qumran (1QS 9:21) hatred of evil persons is assumed to be right. Jesus extends the love commandment to the enemy and the persecutor. His disciples, as children of God, must imitate the example of their Father, who grants his gifts of sun and rain to both the good and the bad.
29  Jesus’ disciples must not be content with merely usual standards of conduct; see ⇒ Matthew 5:20 where the verb “surpass” (Greek perisseuo) is cognate with the unusual (perisson) of this verse.
Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition (c)