DISCIPLES TAUGHT. 1st Part of "THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT".
3-12. Characters. True Happiness.
13-16. True Disciples.
17-48. The Kingdom. Its Laws.
Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain:
(Well known and therefore unnamed, but corresponds with the Mount of Olives in the Structure of the Gospel as a whole)
and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him:
2 And He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying,
(See the Structure above. The Structure is the commentary showing that this teaching is connected with the proclamation of the kingdom [v3.], and is to be interpreted by it. As the kingdom was rejected and is now in abeyance, so likewise this discourse is in abeyance with all its commands, &c., until "the gospel of the kingdom" is again proclaimed, to herald its drawing near. Parts of this address were repeated at different times and on different occasions. Luke nowhere professes to give the whole address in its chronological setting or entirety. Only some 30 separate verses are so repeated by Luke out of the 107 verses in Matthew. The later repetitions were given in "a plain" [Luke 6:17] and after the calling of the Twelve [Luke 6:13]; here the whole is given before the calling of the Twelve [Matt. 9:9]. These are marks of accuracy, not of "discrepancy" as alleged. Modern critics 1st assume that the 2 account are identical, and the say; "No one now expects to find chronological accuracy in the evangelical records"! For the relation of the Sermon on the Mount to Ps. 15 see notes there; and to the seven "woes" see ch. 23.)
3. Heirs to the Kingdom.
4. Mourners. Reward for Mourners.
5. Inheritance. Earthly.
6. True righteousness.
7. Fruits of righteousness.
8. Inheritance. Heavenly.
9. Peacemakers. Reward for Peacemakers.
10-12. Heirs of the Kingdom.
THE EIGHT BEATITUDES OF MATT. 5, AND THE EIGHT WOES OF MATT. 23.
The eight Beatitudes of Matt 5:3-12 are best understood and interpreted by the eight contrasts, or "Woes" of 23:13-33. The comparison shows that 5:10-12 form one (the eighth) Beatitude, having one subject (persecution) corresponding with the eighth "Woe" of 23:29-33.
They may be thus set out :--
"THE BEATITUDES" (5:3-12) "THE WOES" (23:13-33) 1. The kingdom opened to the poor (v. 3) 1. The kingdom shut (v. 13) 2. Comfort for mourners (v. 4) 2. Mourners distressed (v. 14) 3. The meek inheriting the earth (v. 5) 3. Fanatics compassing the earth (v. 15) 4. True righteousness sought by true 4. False righteousness sought by desire (v. 6) casuistry (vv. 16-22) 5. The merciful obtaining mercy (v. 7) 5. Mercy "omitted" and "left undone" (vv. 23, 24) 6. Purity within, and the vision of God 6. Purity without, uncleanness within. hereafter (v. 8) "Blindness" (vv. 25, 26) 7. Peacemakers, the sons of God (v. 9) 7. Hypocrites, and lawless (vv. 27, 28) 8. The persecuted (vv. 10-12) 8. The persecutors (vv. 29-33)
Beside these eight contrasts there is an internal correspondence of the principal thoughts, suggested by the combined series, and forming the Structure given in the note on Matt. 5:3, 4. It may be further noted that these Beatitudes rest on special passages in the Psalms : Matt. 5:3 (Ps. 40:17); 5:4 (Ps. 119:136); 5:5 (Ps. 37:11); 5:6 (Ps. 42:1, 2); 5:7 (Ps. 41:1); 5:8 (Ps. 24:4; 73:1); 5:9 (Ps. 133:1); 5:10 (Ps. 37; 39; 40).
(= Happy, Gr. makarios [not eulogetos, which = blessed, and is only used of God [Mark 14:61. Luke 1:68. Rom. 1:25; 9:5. 2 Cor. 1:3; 11:31. Eph 1:3. 1 Pet. 1:3]. Representing the Heb. ashrey, occurs in 19 Psalms 26 times)
are the poor in spirit:
([See Prov. 1:1] = poor in this world [as in Luke 6:20], in contrast with the promise of the kingdom)
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(This is not poor as in lacking material possessions. Poor means humble in this verse. The humble inherit the King and His dominion. And, He owns everything.)
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
(Those with eyes to see and ears to hear mourn for those that can't see the truth. Christ will comfort them.)
5 Blessed are the meek:
(Cp. Ps. 37:11. To be humble before the Lord, doesn't mean that you stand by and allow bullies to push you around, but you have reverence before the Lord. You know from where your strength comes.)
for they shall inherit the earth.
( he inheritance for this happiness, is an inheritance and reward which will be given you in the Millennium age.)
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst
(Idiom for a strong desire. Cp. 42:1,2; 119:103)
after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
(Righteousness is what is right. God's Word is what is right. If you hunger and thirst for His Word, you will be filled. That is a promise from your Father. Why hunger? Why thirst?)
7 Blessed are the merciful:
(cp. Ps. 41:1)
for they shall obtain mercy.
(Not merely now, but in the manifestation of the kingdom, Jas. 2:13 [cp. Heb. 4:16; 8:12; 10:28.
They are not self-centered, but are concerned for the souls of the lost. If you give compassion to others, then you will receive mercy and compassion from our Lord. You set the pace of your own life, as well as the standards, and what is important to you. What you sow in this earth age, you will also reap, and not only in this life, but the next. When you learn to show compassion for others, then you will find pleasure and happiness in this life also.)
8 Blessed are the pure in heart:
(Cp. Ps. 24:4; 73:1)
for they shall see God.
(When you keep your mind pure, and free from guilt, then you will see God. A pure mind is obtained by flushing out the hateful things of this world, and seeing everything in a clean mind. This gives a new insight of the world and God, and brings you a real happiness.)
9 Blessed are the peacemakers:
(Cp. Ps. 133:1)
for they shall be called the children of God.
(The peacemakers are the ones making peace, even when they are delivered up before the synagogues of Satan. In the final generation these children [sons and daughters] of God are called the elect of God.)
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted
(Cp. Pss. 37,39,40)
for righteousness' sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(To be persecuted for righteousness sake, is to be persecuted because of your stand for Jesus Christ, and the Word of God. If you are persecuted because you are a trouble maker, there is no righteousness in that, and no happiness either. When you take that stand for Jesus and the Word, then your rewards will come through your blessings in the next age as well as in this life.)
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely,
(This is another condition of the happiness of v.3)
for My sake.
(These are the ones that are persecuted because they are Christians, and carry the "name sake" of Jesus Christ.)
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
(See 1 Pet. 4:13. Cp. Acts 16:25)
13-16. TRUE DISCIPLES.
13. In the earth. Salt
14-. The Light.
-14. In the earth. A city.
15,16. A Lamp.
13 Ye are
(Representing the kingdom)
the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
(The "salt of the earth" are His disciples, those who study under Him, and those who came when Jesus said, "follow Me". When you repented and turned from your sinful ways, then you also became the salt of the earth. This is an analogy, and Christ is saying that you are the ones that are to save the kingdom of God, to sprinkle the teachings of His Word among His children, and bring the message alive to men of the earth, bringing the preservation of souls.
But if you as the salt, lay bare on the earth, exposed to the elements, you lose your savour, and the salt which was once full of flavour and making a difference, is now bland and of no effect, becoming fit not for preserving, but for the recycle pile.
This is similar to the leaven in the bread. If you are a true Christian, then when you put a little leaven [truth of God's Word] in the bread [world], the the world around you [which is the bread] will become leavened, or open to the truth.
What Jesus then is telling His disciples is that it is them, and all Christians that He is relying on to make the world salted with His Word. This is not talking about being abrasive, but a man or woman of God that knows how to represent our Lord in this world. We are to make a difference in the world that we live in, and if we can't make that difference, then of what use are we to God? To many people, their salt is given through their systematic financial support of a ministry, or as a prayer warrior. There are many avenues that God can use you, if you study His Word, and make yourself available in the ways that you have.
Most of the time, the salt is the least of all the ingredients that goes to make up the food that we eat, however if it is left out, it will change the entire taste and success of the cooking. The amount of salt, or added effort given by the Christian, can make a great difference, as Jesus pointed out with the widow's mite. God will use, and bless what you give from the heart, the first fruits of your labor, in His service. From that gift added to that of other tithes of dedicated Christians the Lord will build His kingdom, and each will share in the rewards equally at the close of the age. That is why your salt is important, what you add to the kingdom; it prepares you for service in the Kingdom to come. You give your tithe after the fact, to the place where you are taught.
How much more do you know of the Scripture today then ten, twenty or thirty years ago? If the answer is not much, then you are wasting God's money, and His tithe is not producing spiritual food with any flavor - but unpalatable spiritual food.)
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
(The "Light" is the "phos" in the Greek. As long as you have the light of Christ's Word in your heart, people will see it.
When you have that Light of the Word of God, then you are on a solid foundation, and your light becomes the beam that people can and will count on. You are able to help people with counsel and advice in a very simple way. It may be a smile or friendly greeting when needed, but when they know that your words are based on solid truths of God's Word, then those words become an anchor in a raging storm of life.
An example of this is when someone around you has just lost a loved one, and they come to you for consolation. By knowing the Scripture on "where the dead are" from I Thessalonians 4, and Ecclesiastes 12:6, 7; you know that to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord. You can explain this from both Paul and Solomon's writings. This is being a light to the world.)
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel,
(= the measure: i.e. any measure there may happen to be in the house)
but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
(When you study God's Word then that knowledge is to be shared with others. Sometimes it is shared in a simple way of everyday life, while to others that sharing can go deeper. We are to plant the seeds of the Word wherever we are, and if the interest is to go deeper, then be ready for it, however if there is strong resistance, leave it alone, it is not the time. However, water that seed that you have planted with prayer. The Holy Spirit will make it grow, if it should.
When you allow the warmth of Christ's love into your life, that love has to be felt amongst all those around you. You will give comfort to those that come around you when the Scriptures are more then just words, but promises that you count on and build your whole life around. If we left out the seasoning in God's Word, we would be pretty dull. If someone else tries to put the bushel basket over your light, then do all you can to reverse it, and allow your light to burn and the light to get out.)
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
(What are your good works? It may be a smile, or the helping of the neighbor when there is a need, or just anything that you can do in the name of the Lord, and with the right attitude. It may even be by the way you help in a ministry, whether singing, ushering, preaching, or just being faithful in your tithe. Whatever your works are, by being faithful in those works, God will reward you well for it. It is to be a light that men can see, for it gives hope in this mixed up world, especially in these end times. In the eternity those works is what your heavenly garment is made up of.)
THE KINGDOM (THE LAWS OF IT).
17-20. They fulfill the Law and the Prophets.
21-48. They transcend the Laws of Moses.
17 Think not
(A very necessary warning against making this mount another Sinai, and promulgating the laws of the kingdom proclaimed in and from 4:17)
that I am come to destroy the law,
(1st of 15 ref. to the Law by Christ, 5 of these coupled with "Moses")
or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
(Many teach that when Christ came and went to the cross at Calvary, and shed His blood for us that the law was done away with. Jesus Christ Himself declares here that this is just not so. Jesus declared here that; "think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the Prophets", Christ's purpose for coming to earth, was to complete every last prophecy that came out of the Prophets of old. That included the law, for the law was given for guidance for man, and it is as current today as it was three thousand years ago.
God knew that man could not keep the law, and that is why He made the provision for man. When man broke the law, and the barrier came between God and man, and certain rites, ordinances, and rituals [sacrifices] were established by God to bring man back to God. These sacrifices were of the blood of sheep, goats and doves, and were a covering, [called atonement] that satisfied the Lord God for one year.
The only permanent sacrifice that could atone for mans sin, was a spotless sacrifice, sinless, and the only one that could do that was God's only Son, Jesus Christ. This was known long before the setting forth of the planets. God's plan was even written in the constellations of the heavens. The moment our Lord Jesus Christ died on that cross, the veil in the Temple was parted.
Matthew 27:50,51; "Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the Temple was rent in twain form the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;"
This took place when every last rite, ordinance and sacrificial ritual that required a blood sacrifice of animals, (or part of those blood sacrifices) was done away with, for Jesus Christ's death on the cross fulfilled them all. However, those laws that deal with the governing of our everyday lives, were and are still on the books, and they are what God expects the true man and woman of God to follow. Those laws and commandments should be common knowledge to all mankind, for they are what all civilized law and government is based upon. The ten commandments, as Jesus will discuss later in this chapter, are just acting out plain common sense, and when anyone tells you that you don't have to follow the law because it is dead, and then you violate them, then you will deserve what ever punishment is given for it's violation.
Behind that veil [called the holy of holies] in the Temple is where the blood sacrifices were laid on the Altar of God. Only the Levitical priesthood could go into the Holy of Holies, behind the veil, and approach our Heavenly Father.
Now our love and belief in Jesus Christ, and His saving works on the cross, is what allows us to approach God, with our repentance for our sin, and the changing of our sinful ways. It is beautiful how our Heavenly Father made the way to Him so easy, but the price was very high, for it took the very life's blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. When you refuse that gift, you are throwing it right back in His face, and you will answer for that at the appointed time.)
18 For verily
(Gr. amen. Used only by the Lord. Same as Heb. 'amen, preserved in all languages. Should be so given at the beginning sentences. Always [except once] double in John; 25 times. See John 1:52)
I say unto you, Till heaven
(Always in sing. when connected with the earth)
and earth pass, one jot
(= yod, the smallest Hebrew letter ['=Y], which the Massorites numbered 66,420)
or one tittle
(= the merest ornament. See Alleged "Corruption" of the Hebrew Text The English "tittle" is diminutive of title [Lat. titulus] = a small mark placed over a word for any purpose: e.g. to mark an abbreviation)
shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments,
(referring not to what men might thus distinguish, but to the difference made by the Lord between the whole Law and its minutiae)
and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
(The blood ordinances are gone, they were finish when Christ went to the cross, but not one of God's laws has been fulfilled. Jesus is telling His disciples and us that that if we break even the smallest law, we break them all. God holds those that go out and on purpose, breaks any of them, the least of importance in His kingdom. Did you get that? "and shall teach men so." I would think twice before teaching that the law was done away with, or if I did, it is time for repentance for you.
The breaking of the law does not make the law bad, but it makes man bad. When the law is broken, then we must follow Christ's first words of instruction, in Matthew 4:17; "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Until you repent, you will wear your sins. Being a believer does not wash your sins away. But when you repent in Jesus name, they are gone forever. We sin in so many things, daily, and this is why we must repent daily. We must die daily to our sinful nature, that is in conflict with the new nature that God has placed within us when we accept Jesus Christ.)
20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
(This is Jesus doing the teaching here, and these Scribes and Pharisees are the ones that sit in the seat of Moses, and claim to be the law givers, yet they are the Kenites. We know that five hundred years prior to this sermon, the Kenites, or sons of Satan virtually took over the duties of the scribes, and the Levitical priesthood allowed it to come to pass. This is recorded in I Chronicles 2:55; "And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez [Jerusalem]; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab." These scribes were in charge, when the House of Judah came our of captivity in Babylon.
Most Pharisees were part of the priesthood, and Ezra and Nehemiah tell us that these Kenites, the "Nethinims" had taken over the Levitical priesthood while in Babylon, and took control over the duties of the priests in the Temple. Those duties were teaching the Law, and the ordinances.
By the time of Christ's birth, they had five hundred years to perfect their slant to God's laws, and add many of their own. This is why Jesus addressed them in Matthew 23:2, 3; "Saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: [teaching the law and judging] All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." In other words, they are hypocrites, and of their father the devil.
The law is important to us, and it is for us to know the law, and do our interpretation with the teachings of Christ, for if ye allow them to interpret it for us, it may cause us to miss out on the Kingdom. Our righteousness must exceed the Scribes and Pharisees for the simple reason that their ways are of their father Satan, the devil, and Satan's ways are not God's ways. God gave us the law in His written Word, and examples with that Word, it is for us to know them, and abide by them. Most of God's laws are natural, and just common sense.)
21-48. THEY TRANSCEND THE LAWS OF MOSES.
21-26. The Law of Murder. Com. 6.
27-32. The Law of Adultery. Com. 7.
33-37. The Law of Perjury. Com.3.
38-42. The Law of Retaliation. (Ex. 21:25. Lev. 24:20. Deut. 19:21.)
43-48. The Law of Love. (Lev. 19:18.)
THE LAW OF MURDER.
21 Ye have heard
(In the public reading of the Law)
that it was said
(opp. to "I say". Cp. 19:8,9, where the "I" is not emphatic [as it is here]. See Ex. 20:13. Deut. 5:17)
of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill;
and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother
(An Israelite by nation and blood; while a neighbor was an Israelite by religion and worship [= a Proselyte].
Both distinct from the brethren. without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:
(The council of 3 in the local synagogue)
and whosoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca,'
(Not a contumelious epithet, but a contemptuous interjection, expressing the emotion of scorn of a disdainful mind, like Eng. "You!")
hall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, 'Thou fool,'
(always = a wicked reprobate, destitute of all spiritual or Divine knowledge)
shall be in danger of hell fire.
(= the gehena of fire, from the valley of Hinnom, profaned by the fires of Moloch worship [2 Chron. 33:6], and defiled by Hezekiah. Also called "Tophet", Isa. 30:33. Here the refuse of Jerusalem was continually being burnt up by the perpetual fires [cp. Jer. 7:31-33. 2 Kings 23:10. Mark 9:48. Isa. 66:24])
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
(You "gift" is your sacrifice, which is your tithe, or even a love offering. You want to approach God's throne, and there is a problem between you and your brother [sister], and you are the one at fault.)
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
(When you see that you are the cause of the trouble, and you are at the altar with the gift, don't take the gift, but make your apologies to that brother, and then continue with your giving of the gift. You are to make the offer, and whether or not it is accepted, that is his responsibility before the Lord, for you are clear at the throne of God.)
25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer,
(Here = tax collector. See Luke 12:58)
and thou be cast into prison.
26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
(A bronze coin worth about 1/2 cent, which shows it to be a case of debt.
God's Word, and His plan is perfect. Jesus is telling you not to get ahead of that plan.)
THE LAW OF ADULTERY.
27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery:'
(Quoted from Ex. 20:14. Deut. 5:18)
28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
29 And if thy right eye
(Figuratively. i.e. your choicest possession. Don't poke your eye's out, or cut your hand off!)
(Morally. Cp. 18:6. 1 Cor. 1:25)
pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
(This is not aimed at the individual person here, but a individual group, within the main body of Christ. The application is the same though, that is that the group be cut off from the main body of Christ, so that the main body will not fall because of them.)
31 It hath been said, 'Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:'
(See Deut. 24)
32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
(God doesn't want His elect jumping from one religious thought to another, which are not given in His Word. God is jealous for His bride. Whether it be spiritual fornication, or physical adultery, it is sin; but God said we are to seek forgiveness from our brothers and those we love. Jesus also asked each of us that when we sin, to repent, and that sin will be forgiven. There is only one sin that is unforgivable, and you can not commit that sin, until the Antichrist Satan is on earth, and then you refuse to allow the Holy Spirit of God to speak through you.
When Christ said He would forgive All our sins, divorce and adultery is included, so is Sodomy, drunkenness, drugs, and any other things that one could commit. Once we have repented, then we are to turn from that sin. When a person has divorced, and repented for that sin to God, in Jesus name, in God's eyes it is over and blotted out; however many in the Church world like to hold it over their head. That is exactly what Satan does as the accuser before the throne of God. That is the mind of Satan.
By bringing up a repented sin, you are becoming the judge over your brother, and though God has forgiven the divorcee [sinner], the one pointing the finger and being the judge, has just accepted the punishment for their false accusation. When its repented it's over, and the Kenite, Satanic mind just can't get it through their mind. When you realize that you have done such a thing to a brother in the Lord, it is time to seek forgiveness yourself.
Divorce is what the entire book of Hosea is about. God took two wives, two sisters, and they were called the "the House of Israel", and "the House of Judah". God kept the one, Judah, and divorced the other. Once divorced, God could not remarry, until death reconciled them back to Him. When Jesus went to the Cross, those that repent are reconciled back to Christ. However it won't be until the Millennium age that all of Israel, Christian and Jew alike are joined as one, back to Him. That is what Ezekiel 37 is all about, the joining of the two houses in the end.)
THE LAW OF PERJURY.
33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, 'Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:'
(Quoted from Ex.20:7. Num. 30:2. Deut. 23:21)
34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:
35 Nor by the earth; for it is His footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
("His footstool" means that God has created all things. Jerusalem is the city that God has married, and it will be the place of His Temple, and eternal city.)
36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
(All that a man of God need to answer is yes or no. That is all. If you have to start off with an explanation, and swear by something to get someone to take your word, that they don't believe you anyway. You might as well keep your mouth shut. The longer your explanation to what your charged with, the more apt one is to giving an untruth [evil]. That is why the lawyers ask the same thing over and over, eventually they hope to catch an error, and destroy you with your own words. That is the mind of the Kenite, and that is also the mind of Satan. Remember, we are to be wiser then the serpent, the Kenite snakes.
In teaching the Word of God, it is best to keep it simple, and absolute. Keep to the subject, and the object that is taught, and make your lesson down to earth, and apply to the student's life. Don't use "I think", but only, "it is written in...." and state what the Bible says. If you don't know, then say I don't know. If you don't know it, and can't admit to it, then don't teach.)
THE LAW OF RETALIATION.
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:'
(Quoted from Ex. 21:24. Cp. Lev. 24:20. Deut. 19:21)
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
(If he does it from being insulted by you. If done to harm you, deck him!)
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
(This verse comes from an old Roman custom, that if a soldier found his pack to heavy, he could call on a civilian close at hand to carry his pack up to an mile. This was the law. Jesus is addressing this, and saying that when you are called to do so, to go the extra mile. This can apply to many things today, in the requirement that we as citizens are required to do, Jesus is telling us to don't just do the requirement, but be willing to give a little extra when it is needed.)
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
THE LAW OF LOVE.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.'
(Quoted from Lev. 18:18. Personal, political, religious)
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies,
(That includes tough love)
bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you,
(This clause omitted by all the critical Greek texts) and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
(You pray for them, it doesn't mean you let them get away with it, but you pray for their souls. This is a common practice of all Christianity.)
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
(God is love, and He is fair. God understands a person's mind and the condition and state that he is in. God deals with each person individually. God allows the rain to fall on all people alike. We see that one farmer will prepare his seed bed to accept the rain, and use the water to make his seed develop, and his crops grow. While the farmer next down the road, just throws the seed out, and when the rains come, the water washes the seed, and soil down the river.
We are to be careful how we handle people with the Word of God, for we can do much damage in our planting of the seed of the truth of God's Word. Just like the farmer that gives much love and care to detail in the planting of his seed, we also should be wise, in the planting of God's seed in the minds of men [women]. That it will be received and grow to maturity.)
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
(The tax-gatherers despised; Gentiles detested)
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
(In thus acting on the principles of grace, in conformity with the laws of the kingdom here promulgated.
When we love those that are of our family, and close to us, Jesus is saying that is what the world does, that is what the world expects of every one. However Jesus is telling us that He expects much more that what the world would give. "Perfect" in the Strong's Greek dictionary is # 5048, "Telioo", and means consecrated, matured and fulfilled (in character)"; and that is how Jesus expects His elect to act.
He gives us the standard to use for His elect, and that is acting on the principles of "grace", and in conformity with the laws of the kingdom that He is setting down in this sermon. "Grace" by definition is "unmerited favor". The Grace we receive in Christ is that our sins are forgiven, and the heavy price that is required and paid, is paid with God's own Son, Jesus Christ's blood.
The grace we are to give is in our love and compassion to those who don't deserve it. When you are hurt or wronged by another person, it is then the love and kindness shown to the one that wronged you. The world doesn't expect it of you, but Jesus is telling us, the if you are part of His kingdom, and claim to be of Christ, He expects it of you. That love and kindness of Christ is what melts away fear and hatred, and draws that soul to Christ.)