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Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Gospel by Matthew

Chapter six:

Love and money

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued

a) Charity and neighbor love

MT6:1 “But, listen to this:[1] Do not exhibit your ‘righteousness’[2] before men to be observed by them[3] or you will have no reward[4] from your heavenly Father. MT6:2 So, when you give charitable donations[5] do not trumpet before you as hypocrites[6] do in religious gatherings and roadways to be honored by men. I tell you in truth:[7] They have their full reward![8] MT6:3 But, you who give charitable donations, let your left hand not know what your right hand is doing.[9] MT6:4 So, your charitable donations will be secret. Then your Father watching secretly will reward you secretly.

[1] Listen to this: The Nazarene’s commentary on neighbor love continues and takes many forms and applications.

[2] Do not exhibit your ‘righteousness’: Motive is involved here. Nothing demonstrates more hatred for a neighbor than trying to be a “show-off” and parade self-righteousness in front of a neighbor. The Nazarene rabbi has not shifted from his subject of Leviticus 19:18 and neighbor love. He begins to give practical application to it with several examples.

Various renderings are: RIEU: exercise your virtues in public; NEB: make a show of your religion; MOF: in order to be noticed; WMS: to attract the attention of people. Compare Matthew 23:5.

[3] To be observed by them: The “them” are also your neighbors.

[4] Reward: A word and idea the Nazarene uses 8 times in the sermon (Matthew 5:12, 46; 6:1, 2, 4, 6, 17).

[5] Charitable donations: The Greek is ELEEMOSYNEN and may be rendered “gifts of mercy”. Various renderings are: TCNT: acts of charity; BAS: give money to the poor. The idea and word only occurs in Matthew in this sermon (Matthew 6:2-4) and 8 times in Acts. However, there are two occurrences in Luke of particular note: Luke 11:41, inner gifts of mercy; and Luke 12:33, where the apostolic Little Flock is commanded to ‘sell your belongings and give.’ Material giving is right at the top of the short list of Jesus’ favorite topics.

[6] Hypocrites: Various renderings are: PHI: like those play-actors in the synagogue; TCNT: praised by others; MOF: to win men; PHI: make sure that men admire them. The Greek word translated “hypocrite” is HYPOKRITAI (hypo + critic/judge) and refers to that mask actors wear when playing roles. It carries the idea of “two-faced.”

[7] I tell you in truth: This is literally “amen” and is often used by the Nazarene to stress a serious warning.

[8] Reward: Reward and credit or repayment is a much-used expression by Jesus as though God were an accountant keeping a tally of debits and credits in a ledger.

[9] Let your left hand not know what your right hand is doing: Right or left. There may be a scientific truth here for left-handed people operate mainly in the brain’s right hemisphere which is not the “knowing” or intellectual side. The Nazarene Saint must exercise caution in giving so that his motive and manner are pure. Compare Proverbs 19:17: giving.

The front side (recto) of Papyrus 1, a New Tes...

The front side (recto) of Papyrus 1, a New Testament manuscript of the Gospel of Matthew. Most likely originated in Egypt. Also part of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri (P. oxy. 2) Currently housed in: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding article

Matthew 5:43-47 – 6. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18

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Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

MT5:38 “You heard it said: ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’[1] [Exodus 21:24] MT5:39 But, I tell you: Do not resist[2] wicked authority. But, whoever slaps your right cheek,[3] turn to him the other. MT5:40 And, the one with a legal settlement against you for your inner garment, let him have the outer. MT5:41 And, whoever impresses you to go one mile,[4] go two. MT5:42 Give to those asking[5] and do not turn away from the one wanting to borrow.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (portret omstreeks de late jaren 1930)

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence from Great Britain, and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

[1] Eye for eye and tooth for tooth: Ghandi commented that all this Law did was make a world of blind persons. There is no case of this ever being done literally in the Hebrew Bible. The subject is “revenge” which the Nazarene discourages.

[2] Do not resist: The principle behind the Civil Rights Movement. Compare Romans 12:17 and 1 Peter 2:23: yielding. Most do not see the Nazarene teaching pacifism, others do. NJB ftn:

“The gospel does not forbid reasonable defense against unjust aggression.”

Though we do not find the Nazarene making use of this (John 18:22, 36).

The subject may be “wicked authority” represented in either the Roman occupiers or the harsh religious hierarchy. There are three examples within this context of “wicked authority”: a) an insult; b) legal matters; and, c) forced civil service. Here are the sources for “turn the other cheek” and “go the extra mile.” (Note Mark 15:21: authority)

Large outdoor gathering

World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, 2011

[3] Slaps your right cheek: An open-handed insult. The Nazarene experiences this (John 18:22).

[4] Impresses you to go one mile: Such rights by the State are current in most countries. For example, in the United States the police may command one’s vehicle or the fire department may impress one into fire-fighting.

[5] Give to those asking: A hallmark of the Nazarene’s teachings. Various renderings: MOF: the man who begs; WMS: keeps on begging. Compare Acts 20:35 in a rare allusion or quotation of the Nazarene by Paul. These include interest free loans (See Deuteronomy 23:19 and Luke 6:32-34: loans). Luke the Physician is stronger on this matter than Matthew the Tax-collector, the former discouraging loans completely and stressing giving. A real test on the Nazarene Saint is the pocketbook and is demonstrated in being ‘liberal’ (Romans 12:8, 13; 1 Timothy 6:17-19). The Nazarene Saint who refuses to share that good bounty God has given is in serious danger (James 1:27; 2:15-17; 1 John 3:16-18).

Luke includes the giving nearer the context of love for enemies. The Good Doctor includes interest free loans and not expecting any repayment (See Deuteronomy 15:7; Proverbs 21:26; Matthew 5:42: giving).

Does all of this suggest a commandment for all Friends of the Nazarene to divest themselves of their possessions or property? Judging from the descriptions in the Book of Acts this was not a command but a voluntary matter. Peter tells Ananias,

‘When it was unsold, did it not remain your property; and after it was sold, did not the value remain in your control?’ (Acts 5:4)

Peter nowhere argues:

“Did not the Nazarene teach you to sell everything and give to the poor.”

It was completely voluntary, though one can sense a degree of peer pressure from the Nazarene Community of Saints. Later when Paul argues these matters with the Corinthians and then with Timothy, he never resorts to the authority of the Nazarene about selling all. He merely tells Timothy, ‘To command the rich’ and then gives a list of strongly suggested items (1 Timothy 6:17-19). Certainly the Nazarene, and also God, encourage a “simple eye” on “guard against covetousness” (Luke 12:15), always remembering that the Father is paying close attention to how the Nazarene Saint uses material possessions.

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Preceding articles

Matthew 5:33-37 – 4. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Numbers 30:3

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:10-14 – “What Shall We Do?”

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Additional reading

  1. In a world which knows no peace sharing blessed hope
  2. A man who cannot forgive others
  3. When discouraged facing opposition
  4. God should be your hope
  5. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  6. Ability (part 7) Thought about the ability to grow as a member of the Body of Christ
  7. When having taken a new direction in life, having become a Christian
  8. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  9. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  10. Church sent into the world
  11. Fellowship
  12. Love is like playing the piano
  13. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  14. How do you keep people from stealing your joy?
  15. Work with joy and pray with love
  16. What Does Love Look Like?
  17. Overcome division with core values
  18. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  19. A true sermon is a real deed.
  20. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice

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Further related reading

  1. City on a Hill
  2. Psalms 13: Has God Forgotten Me?
  3. 10 Biblical Passages That Radically Shape My Worldview
  4. Christians, It’s Time to Stop Saying “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin.”
  5. Chiseled for Change: Part 2
  6. Jesus interprets the Law through love
  7. Letting the Bible study you – Part three
  8. The point is…do you know Love?
  9. The hermeneutics of love – part two
  10. Jesus’ Subversive Kingdom – Part Four
  11. Give me dove’s eyes
  12. It’s Not About Chick-fil-A–It’s About You Standing For Christian Values
  13. Be Strong Be Courageous
  14. There is more to life than meets the eye.
  15. The heart has an ” inner eye ” …..
  16. With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony…

Most important weekend of the year 2016

Assembled together on the night before he died, Jeshua and his disciples and closest friends came together in an upper room to celebrate the Passover meal.  They recalled the great story of deliverance: how the people of Israel had been freed from bondage and slavery by God’s power through the prophet Moses.  They remembered how the blood of the lamb marked the lintel and doorposts so that the Angel of Death would pass by the people as it brought devastation to the land of Egypt.  They ate the unleavened bread, mindful that the Israelites were in such a hurry to depart Egypt that their own bread had not yet risen.

That night the 14th of Nisan is one Jesus wanted to be remembered for an other occasion as well. Not only had his followers to remember the deliverance of God’s Chosen People, the Israelites, but now their rabbi had opened they way for others than Jews.

By his own example the sent one from God showed how his followers had to become servants for God and for the People of God. Like Jesus had called for people to follow him, the apostles had to come to do so too. They too had to become as humble as Christ was. As a sign of humbleness Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. The work which is reserved for servants Jesus did and he also asked them to do the same for one another.  There is no ambiguity in this moment, no chance to say it is merely a symbol.  Christ shows them what to do and tells them to do it (John 13:1-15); the path that leads to freedom from sin and death is marked by our care for our brothers and sisters.  Simply put, our lives are meant to be offered for others – giving ourselves in service.

In the end, in life which passes so quickly and everything is vanity (like Solomon writes in today’s reading – Ecclesiastes 1) everything turns around “Giving and Receiving”.  We all have received the Grace of God by the sent one from God, who is the son of man and the son of God, who gave his life for our sins.

Like Jesus offered himself as a lamb of God to have his blood as a signpost to deliver us from the punishment of death, we too should offer our lives as we are strengthened by the Messiah and are giving life-spirit by the blood of Christ, being partakers in the Body of Christ.

Thanks to the ransom offer brought by Jesus God blesses us with the gift of life and faith so that we in turn might be a gift to those around us.

As God commanded to remember the night the firstborns of Israel where saved so also Jesus asked his followers to remember the day he gave his body and poured out his blood for the salvation of mankind.

Long before the Mosaic Law covenant was altered, Jehovah foretold through the prophet Jeremiah that He would make with the nation of Israel “a new covenant.”

32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day I took hold of their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt,+ ‘my covenant that they broke,+ although I was their true master,’* declares Jehovah.”

33 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares Jehovah. “I will put my law within them,+ and in their heart I will write it.+ And I will become their God, and they will become my people.”+(Jeremiah 31:32, 33)

English: Stained glass image of the Lamb of Go...

Stained glass image of the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei) with a Christian banner. photo by John Workman in St. Ignatius church in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throughout history we have seen how God made Himself a people. For a very long time it was for the People of Israel that there was a covenant on which they could count. One of the regulations or demands was to remember how the exodus from Egypt was made possible. That putting of blood at the doorposts could also considered as a signature of choosing for God, which made it possible to be passed over for damnation or destruction. After that event there was still a need of offers to be brought to the temple or synagogue. But on the 14th of Nisan Jesus spoke about an other offer which would not have to be repeated any more and which would be sufficient for all times. though that offer would not take away the remembrance of the liberation marks.

Jesus came to institute and Evening Meal on Nisan 14, 33 C.E. Speaking of the cup of wine, he told his 11 faithful apostles:

“This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in your behalf.” (Luke 22:20)

Matthew’s account quotes Jesus as saying regarding the wine:

“This means my ‘blood of the covenant,’ which is to be poured out in behalf of many for forgiveness of sins.” (Matt. 26:27, 28)

Jesus’ shed blood validates the new covenant. That blood also makes possible the forgiveness of sins once and for all time.

A few years later the apostle Paul would remind the new followers

14 Therefore, my beloved ones, flee from idolatry.+ 15 I speak as to men with discernment; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of the Christ?+ The loaf that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of the Christ?+ 17 Because there is one loaf, we, although many, are one body,+ for we are all partaking of that one loaf. (1 Corinthians 10: 16-17)

On that special intimate night rabbi Jeshua had taken the bread and the wine.

26 As they continued eating, Jesus took a loaf, and after saying a blessing, he broke it,+ and giving it to the disciples, he said: “Take, eat. This means my body.”+(Matthew 26:26)

19 Also, he took a loaf,+ gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, saying: “This means my body,+ which is to be given in your behalf.+ Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”+(Luke 22:19)

Notice how Jesus says

Keep doing this in remembrance of me.

The blood+ of the covenant,+ which is to be poured out in behalf of many+ for forgiveness of sins + should, like the blood of the lambs for the liberation of the Jews from the Egyptian slavery, be contributed to the heathen or pagan people who are willing to come under the blood of Christ, whitewashed from sin. But they should remember it and come together, more than once in a year, because Jesus asks it to do it often and whenever we do it to do it in remembrance of him.

23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night+ on which he was going to be betrayed took a loaf, 24 and after giving thanks, he broke it and said: “This means my body,+ which is in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”+ 25 He did the same with the cup+ also, after they had the evening meal, saying: “This cup means the new covenant+ by virtue of my blood.+ Keep doing this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Chorinthians 11: 23-26)

For that reason we should come together today and remember the Exodus out of Egypt, out of slavery of the worldly work, but also the exodus from the slavery of sin and death.

14 “‘This day will serve as a memorial for you, and you must celebrate it as a festival to Jehovah throughout your generations. As a lasting statute, you should celebrate it.(Exodus 12:14)

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Please read also the related articles concerning this special weekend, 14 Nisan and following days:

  1. 1 -15 Nisan
  2. Yom Hey, Eve of Passover and liberation of many people
  3. This day shall be unto you for a memorial and you shall keep it a feast to the Most High God
  4. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  5. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  6. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  7. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  8. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  9. The son of David and the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
  10. Day of remembrance coming near
  11. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  12. Observance of a day to Remember
  13. Jesus memorial
  14. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  15. Seven Bible Feasts of JHWH
  16. White Privilege Conference (WPC) wanting to keep the press out for obvious reasons
  17. First month of the year and predictions
  18. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  19. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  20. A Great Gift commemorated
  21. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  22. Passover and Liberation Theology
  23. Seven days of Passover
  24. Kingdom Visions of Rainbowed angel, Lamb in Mount Zion
  25. Kingdom Visions of God’s judgements and Marriage of the Lamb
  26. The Song of The Lamb #2 Sevens
  27. The Song of The Lamb #7 Revelation 15
  28. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #3 Days to be kept holy or set apart
  29. Easter holiday, fun and rejoicing
  30. Like grasshoppers
  31. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
  32. Who Would You Rather Listen To?
  33. Focus on outward appearances
  34. After darkness a moment of life renewal
  35. Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy

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We wish you a nice memorial day and a holy Pesach

File:Saint John the Baptist Pointing Out Christ as the Lamb of God Philadelphia Museum of Art Cat. 347.jpg

Johannes de Doper wijst Christus aan als het Lam Gods. Ca. 1500-1510 – Saint John the Baptist Pointing Out Christ as the Lamb of God Philadelphia Museum of Art – Master of the Saint John Altarpiece

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