God's News Ticker

Is it “An eye for an eye” or “Love they neighbor”?

The problem involves the incident of the premature attempt on Jesus’s life and is quite interesting: 
In the Bible we have
Ex:21:24: Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
Le:24:20: Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again. 
De:19:19: Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. De:19:21: And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

And we have 
M’t:5:38: Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
M’t:5:39: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
[there follows a list of bad things happening to you which fall short of anal rape]
M’t:5:44: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

That is to be read in the light of 
Lu:16:17: And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
M’t:5:18: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Lu:16:17: And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

The interesting phrase is in M’t:5:38 above: “Ye have heard that it hath been said,…”

It is almost as if Jesus forgets that these are the words written in the infallible Bible – which is true and without error – and is saying “Although some people once said “an eye for an eye”, I’m telling you something else.” And surely that cannot be right?

Yet De:19:19 says blasphemy and murder are of the same magnitude – insulting God and killing a child are the same in God’s eyes. However, if you say someone’s wife is, for example, “as ugly as a mud fence” then all that happens is that he gets to call your wife “pug-ugly.” And everyone goes away happy. However, if you kill his wife – he can kill yours and kill you and everyone goes away happy.

We know that Jesus understood this as we can read in Luke:4
Lu:4:16: And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
Lu:4:17: And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias (Isaiah 58:6). 
Jesus then criticizes the prophet Elijah
Lu:4:28: And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
Lu:4:29: And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
(Throwing people off cliffs was a sort of “passive” form of stoning – you hit the stones rather than the stones hitting you.)

Lu:4:30: But he passing through the midst of them went his way, (I like to see this as “With one mighty bound he was free!” – a minor miracle)

So did Jesus escape God’s Justice? Did the people let Him go because they “loved their neighbor” or was He making a greater point? 

Or did He know the prophecy (John 19:36) that He should not have broken bones when he died temporarily? If He knew the prophecy – and He knew everything, so he must’ve done – then it was a kindness to the crowd for Him to escape, because otherwise they would have been looking pretty stupid having thrown Him off a cliff and nothing happening.

Now this is a great point of theological argument and I had thought that I had found the answer:

Jesus’s words differentiate between our relationship with each other and our relationship with God.

But can this be true? Think of the incident in Luke:4! 

  1. Jesus is accused of blasphemy.
  2. The crowd want to kill Jesus.
  3. To want to kill God is Blasphemy writ large!
  4. The crowd should have been stoned.
  5. Jesus miraculously escapes!
  6. Jesus could have cause a hail of stones to wipe out the crown, thus killing them, but didn’t.

Jesus was re-enacting His own words by levelling the playing field – He was being both a man and God but with the emphasis on “man” (only using the “God” bit to escape without causing any harm.)

And I think that pretty much sums it up.

(Don’t forget that to tithe is your duty and that generous “love-donations” are always welcome.)

Show all replies.