Summary: Loving those who are hostile toward us may be one of the hardest things for us to do. But it is what Jesus commanded.
Have you ever been in a situation where a comment you have made was misinterpreted and caused problems that you never intended? I really don’t care for texting for that reason. People cannot hear the tone in your voice so a soft “No” maybe interpreted as a harsh “No” causing animosity that was not intended.
Misinterpretations can create problems. For example…
The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la. Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means, “bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax” depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, “ko-kou-ko-le,” which can be loosely translated as “happiness in the mouth.”
In Taiwan, the translation of the Pepsi slogan “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” came out as “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead.”
Also in Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan “finger- lickin’ good” came out as “eat your fingers off.”
The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, “Salem - Feeling Free,” was translated in the Japanese market into “When smoking Salem, you feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty.”
When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, it was apparently unaware that “no va” means “it won’t go.”
When Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to say, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” However, the company mistakenly thought the Spanish word “embarazar” meant embarrass. Instead the ads said, “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”
An American t-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market that promoted the Pope’s visit. Instead of the desired “I Saw the Pope” in Spanish, the shirts proclaimed “I Saw the Potato.”
In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into Schweppes Toilet Water.
We have been guilty of misquoting the Bible at times. It is usually things we have heard all of our lives. “Spare the rod, spoil the child” is not in the Bible. What the Bible does say is “To discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.” (Proverbs 29:15)
How about “God help those who help themselves.” This saying actually comes from one of Aesop’s fables. The Bible actually teaches of our weakness and total dependence on God.
“Money is the root of all evil.” What the Bible actually states is "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils" (1 Timothy 6:10). There is a big difference between the two statements. Money is neutral and can be used either for the good or for the bad. Money of itself is not evil, yet the love of it is the root of all kinds of evil.
“This to shall pass” is not found in scripture. If anything, Jesus and Paul taught that we could expect trials and sufferings while we were on this earth.
One I have often misquoted is “Pride goes before the fall.” What the scripture actually states is “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) So actually, pride leads to destruction and conceit leads to a fall.
We love to list the seven deadly sins of gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, vanity, envy, and wrath. But the reality is these are not listed in the Bible. The seven sins originated in the writings of medieval theologians. There are, however, seven things that God detests. “There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)
And a popular one this time of year is the “Three Wise Men.” The Bible never states how many there were. The assumption of three came from the fact that they gave the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Plus they probably were not at the manger when Jesus was born. They were more likely there about two years later. The Gospel of Matthew states they went into a house to see him. And Herod sent his soldiers to kill all the male children two years or younger based on the time he ascertained from the wise men.
So as you can see it’s easy to misinterpret statements and scripture. And in our last message in this series, we see Jesus upsetting one more applecart. Let’s read Matthew 5:43. “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.”
What we read is Jesus actually misinterpreting scripture. He was purposely doing so because, like the statements I read, they had misquoted the law for so long they had come to believe that is what it said. But the Law of Moses Jesus was referring to read