Monday 17 June 2013

Bible Book:

Matthew 5:25-26 Monday 17 June 2013


These two verses come from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew5-7). Jesus has been talking about how he expected his followers tolive. He has promised blessings, with reference to their personallives, and has commented on their behaviour in their communitiesand in the world. He has also commented on the historicalunderstanding of their faith, before he speaks about disagreementsand rows. He suggested that the traditional understanding was notenough, and that a great deal more is required of those who followhim.

Some people read this as recognising how life is, but others seeit as suggesting that we will one day face a final judgement and itwould be better to deal with any issues now. Certainly the versesimmediately before (verses 21-24) refer very clearly to judgementand punishment.  But they also make it clear thatreconciliation with other people is necessary for those who want tobe in a relationship with God. Prayer and worship require areconciled community.

People have also argued whether "come to terms" means realnegotiation and reconciliation, or implies simply giving in all thetime. It is important to understand that "accuser" in this contextusually means the one who has been offended or the injured party ina legal action, so it may well be about the person who has donewrong making the first move. This is most definitely not aboutpeople who have been damaged or abused by others being told thatthey are required to forgive, or take the first step towards anyform of reconciliation.

To Ponder

  • In a society where we are encouraged to blame and to suepeople, how does this passage make you feel?
  • If you have any difficult disagreements in your life, what doyou think God might have to say?
  • You may want to reflect on the importance of standing up forjustice whenever there is need for reconciliation.

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