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
6:32 “If 13 you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners 14 love those who love them. 15 6:33 And 16 if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 17 sinners 18 do the same. 6:34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to be repaid, 19 what credit is that to you? Even sinners 20 lend to sinners, so that they may be repaid in full. 21 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back. 22 Then 23 your reward will be great, and you will be sons 24 of the Most High, 25 because he is kind to ungrateful and evil people. 26 6:36 Be merciful, 27 just as your Father is merciful.
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.”
6 tn See the note on the word “tunics” in 3:11.
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.”
10 sn Do not ask for your possessions back… is an example of showing forgiveness. Paul’s remarks in 1 Cor 6:7 may reflect this principle.
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.
13 tn Grk “And if.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. This is a first class condition, but the next two conditional clauses are third class conditions, so that stylistic variation is probably at work.
14 sn Here the term sinners may refer to people who had no concern for observing the details of the Mosaic law; these were often treated as social outcasts. See L&N 88.295.
15 sn Jesus’ point in the statement even sinners love those who love them is that disciples are to go farther than sinners do. The examples replay vv. 29-30.
16 tc ‡ Three key
17 tc Most
18 sn See the note on the word sinners in v. 32.
19 tn Grk “to receive”; but in context the repayment of the amount lent is implied. Jesus was noting that utilitarian motives are the way of the world.
20 sn See the note on the word sinners in v. 32.
21 tn Grk “to receive as much again.”
22 tn Or “in return.”
23 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the outcome or result. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started in the translation at this point.
24 sn The character of these actions reflects the grace and kindness of God, bearing witness to a “line of descent” or relationship of the individual to God (sons of the Most High). There is to be a unique kind of ethic at work with disciples. Jesus refers specifically to sons here because in the ancient world sons had special privileges which were rarely accorded to daughters. However, Jesus is most likely addressing both men and women in this context, so women too would receive these same privileges.
25 sn That is, “sons of God.”
26 tn Or “to the ungrateful and immoral.” The word “people” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.
27 sn Merciful is a characteristic of God often noted in the OT: Exod 34:6; Deut 4:31; Joel 2:31; Jonah 4:2; 2 Sam 24:14. This remark also echoes the more common OT statements like Lev 19:2 or Deut 18:13: “you must be holy as I am holy.”