Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 2 (Gospel) -- Chapter: 23 (Conduct 5) -- Text
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The Sharia of Christ in the GOSPEL
G - Commandments of Christ related to our Duties towards Men (CONDUCT)
5. CHRIST'S LOVE OVERCOMES HATRED AND VENGEANCE
Matthew 5:9-12 -- 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven
, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:21-26, 38-39, 43-48 -- 21
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder,' and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment
But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment
. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you are thrown into prison. 26
Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny. (See also Matthew 18:23-25; Mark 11:25; Luke 12:58-59; 1 John 3:15) -- … 38
You have heard that it was said, ' An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I tell you not to resist an evil person
. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also
. (See also John 18:22-23; Romans 12:19-22; 1 Peter 2:20-21) -- … 43
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven
; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46
For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47
And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
(See also Exodus 23:4-5; Luke 6:27-28; 23:24; Acts 7:60; Romans 12:14, 20)
Matthew 6:12-15 -- 12
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one
. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. 14
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses
. (See also Mark 11:25)
Matthew 18:15-17, 21-22, 23-35 -- 15 Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. (See also Leviticus 19:17; Luke 17:3; Galatians 6:1) -- … 21 Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" 22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven". (See also Genesis 4:24; Luke 4:17; Ephesians 4:3) -- … 23 "Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, 'Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, 'Pay me what you owe!' 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?' 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses." (See also Matthew 5:26, 6:14-15; Luke 6:36; 1 John 4:11; James 13:2)
The revolution of Christ knows no boundaries. His love overcomes the deepest trenches of hatred and vengeance. Jesus first reveals the reasons for murder and the motives for enmity. Premeditated and unpremeditated murder is usually committed as a result of hatred, anger, vengeance, envy, resentment, jealousy, greed, spite, antipathy, plotting, and everything that comes from the heart, for such intentions and feelings are the precursors to murder and killing. Whoever says to someone else, "beast", or "idiot", or "I hate you" is guilty of the final judgment, and in eternity will be considered as a murderer. If we would clearly grasp the saying of Jesus: “out of the heart proceed evil thoughts”, we would sincerely repent and ask for a complete change of our hearts. He who bears a grudge against his fellow man wishing that he might be shot to outer space and die, shall bring the same judgment on himself. Jesus tears down the masks from our faces and shows us that we all harbor murderous thoughts and bitter intentions in ourselves and must thus be counted as murderers.
The answer of the Law of Christ to such a sorrowful condition is: unconditional reconciliation, forgiveness and love for our enemies and adversaries. He who does not forgive loses the forgiveness of his own sins. He, who forgives only partially, receives partial forgiveness of his own sins, for in the Lord's prayer he asks: Father, forgive me just as I myself forgive, not any more. Jesus pulls out the last root of hatred and rejection from our hearts, for his love only wants to love, and not to hate and to reject. His spirit of reconciliation humbles us to confess our own guilt. Not only are the others at fault, but also we. He who bows down first and asks the others for forgiveness is the one who is spiritually more mature. Our own honor was crucified with Jesus at His cross. We have no more rights or honor except in Him who was crucified, as the apostle of the Gentiles writes: "He, who glories, let him glory in the LORD." (1 Corinthians 1:31)
From the Old Testament we know: “There is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood.” (Leviticus 17:11 and Hebrews 9:22) This is correct, for the legal principle “an eye for an eye and, a tooth for a tooth” (Exodus 21:24) unmercifully demands retribution and the death of the murderer. However, Jesus bore our sins as well as the sins of our enemies on the cross and He suffered our punishment. Therefore, by virtue of His atonement, we have been freed from all revenge and we have the right and the duty to forgive completely. Members of Middle Eastern religions, who are not centered on the Crucified One, must take revenge. He who, among them, forgives without taking vengeance or blood money is considered to be guilty! The Crucified One alone has freed us from the compulsion of revenge to the power of forgiveness and reconciliation. The core of our ethics is belief in the cross.
How often does Jesus forgive our sins? Once, ten times, or a hundred times, since we became believers in Him? The answer is: daily, hourly, continuously and innumerably often does He forgive our blunders, shortcomings, pride, hardheartedness, blindness for the needs of other, as well as specific sins, that we keep secret. We all live completely and uninterruptedly from the forgiveness of the Father and of His Son Jesus Christ. In exactly the same manner we must permanently, hourly and daily forgive our enemies, our obstructers and those who are inconsiderate towards us. He, who does not continuously forgive, separates himself from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.