On Tuesday morning the pastors of Lutheran Saints in Ministry gather in Fairborn Ohio to discuss the texts for Sunday.

These are the contributions that are brought to the table.

Friday, February 21, 2014

What the texts says - Pr. Fourman

Matthew 5:38–48

38"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'  39But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also;  40and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well;  41and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.  42Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.
43"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'  44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  45so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.  46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  47And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

v38 ηκουσατε (ακουω) aor. "you have head" - 

v39 δε "but" - υμιν dat. pro. "[I tell] you" emphasizing the statement to follow; "but I say unto you", AV.
μη αντιστηναι (ανιστημι) aor. inf. + dat. "do not resist
τω πονηρω dat. adj. "an evil person
οστις pro. "if someone" ραπιζει (ραπιζω) pres. "strikes [you]" - strikes. 
τω θελοντι (θελω) dat. pres. part "someone/anyone wants
κριθηναι (κρινω) aor. pas. inf. "to sue/ judge/take to court.”  The infinitive, as with λαβειν, "to take", is complementary completing the verbal sense of the participle "willing".
τον χιτωνα (ων ωνος) "tunic" - the basic garment worn by everyone. ; to be sued for this garment indicates that its owner is poor.
αφες (αφιημι) aor. imp. allow, permit.
το ιματιον (ον) "cloak" - the outer garment, all-purpose coat to use as a blanket, suitcase; sleeping bag or tent. Exodus 22:25-27 requires that this garment must not be taken away from a poor person permanently.

v41 αγγαρευσει (αγγαρευω) fut. "forces/compels” in the sense of "impress into service", following the military practice of a soldier's right to press a person into his service to carry his kit for one mile.

v42 δος (διδωμι) aor. imp. "give" τω/ αιτουντι (αιτεω) dat. pres. part. "to the one who asks [you]" μη αποστραφη/ς (αποστρεφω) aor. pas. subj. "do not turn away" τον θελοντα (θελω) pres. part. "the one who wants" δανισασθαι (δανειζω) aor. inf. "to borrow" - to borrow, lend. Tis turns the legal and ethical 1st century world upside down.

v43 αγαπησεις (αγαπαω) fut. "love" in the sense of "compassion", Lev.19:18. The law, summed up in love, is simpler, and yet more demanding.
μισησεις (μισεω) fut. "hate" - in the sense of "hostile toward.". The Law certainly encourages love toward a fellow Jew, but doesn't encourage hatred toward an enemy. Nonetheless, such an inference can be drawn from Deuteronomy 7:2, 30:7. Psalm 139:21-22, 26:5. τον εχθρον (ος) "enemy" - the enemy. 
αγαπατε (αγαπαω) pres. imp. "love" του εχθρου, "enemies (plural) as opposed to " enemy", v43, so widening the application and raising the bar.
των διωκοντων (διωκω) pres. part. "those who persecute [you]" because they are the most difficult enemies to love.

v45 γενησθε (γινομαι) aor. subj. "you may become or show yourselves to be", υιοι (ος) "sons [legal heirs] του πατρος of your Father  ουρανοις, "in heaven".
v46 The loving righteousness required of a son of God is not reciprocal, i.e. it does not look for love in return. Love deserves no reward, it is endemic.
τους αγαπωντας (αγαπαω) pres. part. "those who love [you]
εχετε (εχω) pres. "will you get" – “what reward can you expect". A rhetorical question, answer: "none". When it comes to receiving the promised blessings of the covenant there is no reward for doing what is commonplace and expected.  The reward comes first!
τους αδελφους (ος) "brothers" here in the sense of fellow Jews or fellow believers, so "greet warmly and with respect".
περισσον adj. "[what are you doing] more than others?" as above, rhetorical, answer same and for the same reason. Covenant people are held to a different standard from the world.  In the world it might be considered unique or noteworthy to do such things, standards to which people of good character can aspire, but never realistically achieve as norms. But in the covenant community this is not the ceiling, it is the FLOOR.

v48 υμεις pro. "youemphatic, εσεσθε (ειμι) fut. "be" used here as an imperative, τελειοι "perfect/complete" – literally, finished. 

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