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Read Matthew 5:38-48

Read Matthew 5:38-48

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But now I tell you: do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too. 40And if someone takes you to court to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well. 41And if one of the occupation troops forces you to carry his pack one kilometre, carry it two kilometres. 42When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something, lend it to him.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your friends, hate your enemies.’ 44But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil. 46Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that! 47And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that! 48You must be perfect—just as your Father in heaven is perfect!


In verse 13 and 14 Jesus tells his audience that they are salt and light, in verse 20 he tells them to be more righteous than the scribes and the Pharisees and here in verse 48 he seems to sum things up: ‘Be perfect.’
This perfection is not keeping all the rules, or doing everything exactly right – it is perfection of the heart; or ‘perfect love.’  When God pours his love into our hearts; we naturally learn to do the right thing.


Lord, pour your love for me into my heart, so that I can pour it out to others – even my enemies.

38  5.38: Ex 21:24; Lv 24:20; Dt 19:21
48 5.48: Lv 19:2; Dt 18:13

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