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Author Topic: a metaphor in the Sermon on the Mount  (Read 2062 times) Average Rating: 0
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erracht
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« on: June 05, 2004, 05:12:52 AM »

One of the earliest things I read in the Bible (around early 1993) was Jesus' comment in the Sermon on the Mount that if someone has a lawsuit against you, you should settle it on the way to court, so that you won't end up in jail until you've paid off every penny. Back then I did not see what this had to do with religion and indeed likely did not until just a few days ago when I read it in context. Just previously, Jesus says that if you remember that someone has something agains you, you should reconcile before you offer your sacrifice at the altar. Therefore, am I correct that the lawsuit comment is a metaphor - that it means that for the salvation of your soul ("so you're not put in jail"), you should reconcile with ("have no debt to") your neighbors?
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ambrosemzv
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2004, 01:39:37 AM »

Well, for what little it's worth, I really like your way of reading the passage!
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icxn
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2004, 12:02:05 PM »

Well it can mean that ... however metaphorically the adversary or accuser is our conscience.

From Abba Isaiah of Scetis:

Dear friends, let us stand with godly fear, keeping and maintaining the practice of the virtues, not presenting any obstacles to our conscience, but watching ourselves with godly fear, until it, too, is freed with us, in order that we are united with it, and so that it may become our guardian, showing us everything that we must cut off. If we do not obey our conscience, than it will resign from us and abandon us to fall into the hands of our enemy who will no longer take pity on us. Just as our Lord has taught us, “Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way [to court] with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.” they describe the conscience as an accuser inasmuch as it opposes us whenever we want to fulfill our fleshly desires, and, if we do not listen to it, our conscience hands us over to the enemy.

This is why Hosea mourned Ephrem saying, “Ephrem is an oppressor, he tramples on justiceGǪ calling on Egypt, turning by force to Assyria.” Now Egypt is the heart, seeking to fulfill its own fleshly desires. As for going by force to Assyria, this means that whether we want to, or not, we serve the enemy i.e. the habitual submission to sin. Let us, then, dear friends, watch out, so as not to fall into the hands of our fleshly desires, nor to be captured and let by force into Assyria, nor to hear the following bitter works: “The king of Assyria (i.e. the devil) came to the land of Israel (our heart or mind) and carried away Ephrem and Israel to Assyria. He placed them in Halah on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and they are there to this day. Then the King of Assyria sent people from his own nation and made them live in the land of Israel (the demonic or passionate desires/thoughts), and each of them made an idol and worshiped it, and, behold, they too are there to this day.” All this occurred to Ephrem: “he was oppressed by his enemy and crushed in judgment.”

So, brothers, you now know what happens to those who follow their evil desires and trample down their own conscience. Let us not envy them, friends, but let us envy all the saints who did not obey sin until death, preferring to obey, rather, their holy conscience and inherit the heavenly kingdom. Each of them perfected in purity in their own generation, and their names cannot be extinguished for all future generation.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2004, 01:23:58 PM by icxn » Logged
Justin Kissel
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2013, 01:30:17 AM »

I'm not sure...
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Nikolaos Greek
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2013, 04:30:03 PM »

I think it means:
We all have some sins against God.
God will ask us about those things.
So instead to wait until there and be judged( and so we have choose hell) why not try to befriend God as He wants.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 04:30:12 PM by Nikolaos Greek » Logged

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