Summary: A study of the Gospel of Matthew 5: 38 – 48
Matthew 5: 38 – 48
The Golden Rule
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. 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.
In addition to the apostle Matthew who recorded this part of our Lord’s teaching, the disciple Luke also felt led by our Precious Holy Spirit to list this important truth.
Luke 6: 20 – 36 27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. 32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
Some teacher’s say that Luke just gives us the condensed version of the Sermon on the Mount which is highlighted in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5 through 7. It could be a condensed version of the Sermon on the Mount, but this I believe is not so. I do want to point out a significant difference today. If we turn to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5 we read this in verses 1 and 2, “1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying…” Now look again at verse 17 of chapter 6 of Luke, “17 And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases.” In Matthew we see our Lord go up and here in the Gospel of Luke we see Him coming down.
Our Lord had just picked His 12 men who would receive more teaching and insight than His other disciples. The level place was probably a plateau on the mountain. Here our Lord Is addressing both His disciples and the faithful believers.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
Our Lord has set up for us which He lists here certain principles the first is His rule of ‘Return’. What you do will come back to you.