By Ken Blue ~ March 7th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study, TOPICAL.
THE TREATMENT OF ENEMIES IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 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. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 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; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:38-48.
I believe the scene here is for the Jews in the Tribulation, the prelude to the Kingdome of Heaven. We must also rid ourselves of the belief that everyone on earth will love the King and the Jews in the Kingdom. Many within the Kingdom will have wicked hearts, and hate the theocratic rule of the King. Keep in mind that He and His disciples must rule with a “rod of iron.” (Psa.2; Rev. 2:27; 19:15). Although most of the above text is dealing with the tribulation period, some of it will exist on earth during the time of the Kingdom. It is those circumstances the Lord is instructing them how to deal with their enemies.
Under the Old Testament Law, one was to pay for his crime according his own actions. But Jesus is above the law, and makes changes for that future time spoken of above. He did a similar example at His first advent in the case of the woman taken is adultery. The Law demanded that she die.
The Lord is instructing those who will be in the Tribulation and the Kingdom not to take personal revenge. They are to be passive under personal insults, and go the extra mile. They are to overcome evil with kindness and hospitality. He is the Law giver, and He has the power to alter, or modify as He pleases.
The disciples are to demonstrate love, not just to their Jewish brothers, but to all peoples. God demonstrates His goodness every day. They are be like their Father in heaven. If they follow the above example, they are demonstrating the attributes of their Heavenly Father.