6:27 “But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies, 1 do good to those who hate you, 6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat 2 you. 6:29 To the person who strikes you on the cheek, 3 offer the other as well, 4 and from the person who takes away your coat, 5 do not withhold your tunic 6 either. 7 6:30 Give to everyone who asks you, 8 and do not ask for your possessions 9 back 10 from the person who takes them away. 6:31 Treat others 11 in the same way that you would want them to treat you. 12
1 sn Love your enemies is the first of four short exhortations that call for an unusual response to those who are persecuting disciples. Disciples are to relate to hostility in a completely unprecedented manner.
2 tn The substantival participle ἐπηρεαζόντων (ephreazontwn), sometimes translated “those who abuse” (NRSV), is better rendered “those who mistreat,” a more general term (see L&N 88.129).
3 sn The phrase strikes you on the cheek probably pictures public rejection, like the act that indicated expulsion from the synagogue.
4 sn This command to offer the other cheek as well is often misunderstood. It means that there is risk involved in reaching out to people with God’s hope. But if one is struck down in rejection, the disciple is to continue reaching out.
5 tn Or “cloak.”
7 sn The command do not withhold your tunic either is again an image of continually being totally at risk as one tries to keep contact with those who are hostile to what Jesus and his disciples offer.
8 sn Jesus advocates a generosity and a desire to meet those in dire need with the command give to everyone who asks you. This may allude to begging; giving alms was viewed highly in the ancient world (Matt 6:1-4; Deut 15:7-11).
9 tn Grk “your things,” sometimes translated “what is yours” or “what belongs to you.”
11 tn This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo"), referring to both males and females.
12 sn Jesus’ teaching as reflected in the phrase treat others in the same way you would want them to treat you, known generally as the Golden Rule, is not completely unique in the ancient world, but it is stated here in its most emphatic, selfless form.