What Jesus Did! 'Benevolent Compassion' — Matthew 5:42

Saturday, March 4, 2017

"If a person asks you for something, then give it to him. Don't refuse to give to a person that wants to borrow from you."
— Matthew 5:42
Illustration of Matthew 5:42 — "If a person asks you for something, then give it to him. Don't refuse to give to a person that wants to borrow from you."

Key Thought

In the last several statements, Jesus challenges us to a way of life that does not reflect conventional thinking. These radical challenges should not be read legalistically. At the same time, we must hear Jesus' imploring us to live by a Kingdom Family ethic toward others so that we can be powerful witnesses in a world so self-absorbed. While letting someone take financial advantage of us is not Jesus' intention (there certainly are other passages in the New Testament that help us understand this), he definitely wants us to be incredibly generous with others. We must refuse to put our personal possessions above the needs of others. God's Kingdom, and our citizenship in it, should be the primary force determining what we do to help, how we help, and how much we give up to help. But clearly, our lifestyle should be one of blessing and helping and giving, not judging and criticizing and hoarding.

Today's Prayer

Sacrificial Father, you gave so much for me so that I could be your child. Please help me see people through your eyes, with your truth and compassion. I want to be a source of blessing in what I say and do. Grow my generosity so others may see your grace in me and give you the glory. In the name of your most precious Gift I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, don't stand against an evil person. If someone hits you on the right cheek, then turn and let him hit the other cheek too. If a person wants to sue you in court and take your shirt, then let him have your coat too. If a soldier forces you to walk with him one mile, then go with him two miles. If a person asks you for something, then give it to him. Don't refuse to give to a person that wants to borrow from you. "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those people that do bad things to you. If you do this, then you will be true sons of your Father in heaven. Your Father lets the sun rise for the good people and the bad people. Your Father sends rain to people that do good and to people that do wrong. If you love only the people that love you, then you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are nice only to your friends, then you are no better than other people. Even the people without God are nice to their friends. So you must be perfect, the same as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 5:38-48

Related Scripture Readings

This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for our brothers and sisters {in Christ}. Suppose a believer is rich enough to have all the things he needs. He sees his brother {in Christ} who is poor and does not have the things he needs. What if the believer who has things does not help the poor brother? Then the believer who has the things he needs does not have God's love in his heart. My children, our love should not be only words and talk. No! Our love must be true love. We should show our love by the things we do.

1 John 3:16-18

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.