Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Commands of Christ - Matthew 5:25

"Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny." -Matthew 5:25-26

Who is this command to?

This command is spoken to the multitude that is listening to the Sermon on the Mount, and it serves as a general command for mankind.

What does this command require?

Like Matthew 5:23-24, this command is talking about reconciliation. While the previous command spoke of reconciliation between offended brothers, verse 26 seems to indicate that this is in regard to some sort of financial disagreement. Jesus commands that we are to settle things right away between our adversaries. The word adversary here does not mean an enemy that wishes ill will towards you, but rather it means that a brother has something against you because of a financial debt. Jesus says that before you get to court with your brother, settle the matter between yourselves.

What truths do we learn from this command?

We learn that it is not good to have financial debts and issues between brothers. Money can divide a friendship very quickly.

We also learn that financial matters can be settled before litigation occurs. Jesus commands us to do this. While often the debt is accompanied by hostility between friends, it is better for everyone if you settle the matter privately.

What are the consequences for disobeying this command?

Jail time, poor testimony, loss of friendship, financial strain

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