Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 17
February 3, 2008
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
1901 ASV Translation:
30 Give to every one that asketh thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
- I. Giving to Those Who Ask.
- A. Because of the literary structure of this passage, it seems indisputable that "give" means "lend" in the sense that the word "ask" is replaced in both 6:34 and 6:35 where the issues of Jesus' instruction are repeated by the word "lend". In addition, in this verse, the command is "of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again", which is a kind of action that is typically only taken when an object is "lent", not "given".
- B. In the parallel passage of Matthew 5:42 this sense is also present if one takes the first of the verse to be repeated in the second part.
- C. Because there has already been a marked focal point in the immediate text upon "legal" issues ("turning the other cheek" is illustrated by Jesus in a deliberate context of the miscarriage of justice by the judicial forces of government, and "forbidding the inner garment" is set in the context of Mosaic Law regarding borrowing/lending and the giving of collateral), it is highly likely that we are yet within the thought of "legal practice" and the "problems" of "Law" in a fallen society. If this is a given, then what Jesus has done is a simple matter of jumping to the other side of the same issue. When one is a borrower who cannot repay his debt, he is to refrain from resisting the legal requirement that he turn over the collateral he agreed upon; but, to jump to the other side of the issue, when one is a lender who has a debtor who cannot repay, he is to forgo collection of the debt.
- D. Given the marked overtones of "legal" behavior in the text, in contrast to the "loving" and "gracious" behavior of one who goes beyond "Law" to real relational life, we need to see that there is yet another issue involved: the need of the "borrower".
- 1. Jesus was not requiring that His disciples simply "give" to anyone who "asked". If that were the case, a "rich" and covetous person could "ask" for the very bread off of the table of a "poor" and gracious disciple of Jesus and expect, by reason of the command of Jesus, that he could take the food away. Or a drug addict could ask for $100 to feed his addiction and expect that any "true" disciple of Jesus would not turn him down.
- 2. What Jesus is addressing is the "asking" that arises out of genuine "need". In other words, Jesus is putting His theoretical "disciple" into the character of a person who has an abundance who has been approached by one who is in a life threatening situation with a request for some basic provision.
- 3. It is also necessary to understand that Jesus was requiring that need be met, not greedy desire. The apostle Paul wrote to those who lived in Thessalonica that "if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Without a proper grasp of Jesus' words in the text before us, Paul's words would be in hopeless contradiction.