AS I continue on my journey through scripture, I am so excited because my new book arrived today. It is called Hebrew Gospel of MATTHEW by George Howard. I am so excited about it. Something amazing about the times we live in is the amount of information we have access to. For many years scholars believed that the Gospels, especially the Gospel written by Matthew was probably originally written in Hebrew. But only in recent years have they been able to compile evidence to support this belief. This book I got today in the mail written by George Howard is a translation of a Hebrew document of the book of Matthew. So, let’s read the next section of Yeshua’s sermon on the mountain.
Matthew 5:21-48 NASB
21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.23 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’;28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
31 “It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’; 32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33 “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’34 But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.41 Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Yesterday’s post talked about how Yeshua did not abolish the law of YHVH. LEt’s see what my new books says about those verses from yesterday’s reading. Here is the translation of those verses from yesterday from the Hebrew Matthew verses 17-19:
“At that time Jesus said to his disciples: Do not think that I came to annul the Torah, but to fulfill it. Truly I say to you until heaven and earth (depart) no one letter or dot shall be abolished from the Torah or the Prophets, because all will be fulfilled. He who shall transgress one word of these commandments (and shall teach) others, shall be called a vain person (in the) kingdom of heaven: but whoever upholds and teaches [them] shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Now as we read the verses for today we see that Yeshua not only upholds the Torah (the Law of YHVH), but He expounds on it. He teaches that we should go the extra mile to obey the commands of God and to treat others with love and compassion. He teaches that we are to love our enemies and to do good to them. And He concludes this part of the teaching with be perfect as YHVH GOD is perfect. Wow, a lot in these verses to challenge us on how to live for God and with others.
Here is a thought: in my circle of Torah Observant friends it is often expressed that those who do not keep Torah like we do, by recognizing the Sabbath day on Saturday, or by not eating pork, or keeping the feasts, or these things that make us stand out as Torah Observant believers, that some how we are better . But is it true? I think if we look at what Yeshua is teaching here in these verses about how we should honor YHVH and how we should treat others as taught in Torah, that we should recognize this as the fruit of a true believer. A person who does these things is a Torah keeper too.
The Law, Torah, was given to YHVH God’s children, all of them, as a gift. It was written down and passed down in love so that we would know how to treat our Creator with the respect, honor, glory that He a Holy God deserves and requires. And secondly, it was written down so we would know how to love, honor, and respect others. First, and foremost, how we should treat those in our community, those brothers and sisters in the faith, and then how we should treat those outside of the faith.
In today’s passage Yeshua expounds on these teachings given by YHVH through Moses. He makes it clear that we are to love first. That begs the question, what is true love? How does love look? In our passage He tells us to pray for our enemies, to go the extra mile, literally, when asked even of our oppressors. He says to love the unlovable.
But does loving someone mean I must spend my life side by side with them? Should I allow my enemy into my home? Should I let a robber into my home? OF course not. Loving someone doesn’t mean I lose my common sense.
In our section tomorrow we look at righteousness again. Wow, righteousness must be an important topic to Yeshua.