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35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “ ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matt.22:35-40, NLT).
It is with this kind of commitment to God in love that you will “not pass along false reports.” Because it destroys your neighbor! So the community life of the people of faith is preserved when we “Do not cooperate with evil people by telling lies on the witness stand.” Because imperfect people will be living with imperfect people in this new community, they will be disputes. God is not saying there will be perfection even among the chosen redeemed folks. It seems clear God knows there will be disputes that will make its way to the courts. And when they do because of love – no false reports are allowed, let the truth come out. For it is brings lots of grief to a community of faith when truth is missing. The life of a community is at risk when justice is perverted. Real people are hurt! Justice is to be the norm…
Even when the majority is pressuring you to do otherwise.
2 “Do not join a crowd that intends to do evil. When you are on the witness stand, do not be swayed in your testimony by the opinion of the majority.”
This is where those who hold democracy as a divine revelation, need to step aside and reflect that the majority can be wrong! Important to note. To intentionally goes against the will of the majority is a tremendous risk but measure that with going against the will of God!
Even when there is pressure to take sides with the less privileged.
“3 And do not slant your testimony in favor of a person just because that person is poor.”
You may feel like Robin Hood, “rob rich, give poor” thing… rob and using stolen goods -2 wrongs don’t make a right!
Even you are tempted to let your enemy suffer.
Justice shows itself by making sure the needs of the “other” esp. in a face to face agrarian society where the loss of a beast of burden can be catastrophic. The health of a community overrides one’s natural emotional propensity. Here even the enemy is taken care of, love of neighbor transcends hurt feelings. So it seems care for others is the prime directive… especially when it concerns “ox or donkey” issues. I.e. don’t take away people’s means of making a living. So we are to be practically aware so that life of everyone is enhanced. It is a proactive stance! Not just say I did not do anything to cause harm , we are to help practically!
“4 “If you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey that has strayed away, take it back to its owner. 5 If you see the donkey of someone who hates you struggling beneath a heavy load, do not walk by. Instead, stop and offer to help.”
Even Christ noted this for loving one’s neighbor is to include your enemies too… (Matt.5:43-48,NLT)
43 “You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will
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