Good evening... Great is His faithfulness...
39 But I tell you not to 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 away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
Love Your Enemies43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 [a]But I say to you,love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your [b]brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the [c]tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, justas your Father in heaven is perfect.
In contrast to the OT - Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20; and Deuteronomy 19:21, our Lord warns us NOT TO RESIST evil with more evil ... EVIL can only be overcome by good, this in return keeps us from compromising with the devil and it can bring our enemies under the yoke of God's love ...
"A saint from the desert once found his hut being looted of its paltry possessions, and he knelt in the corner and prayed for the bandits ... When they left, the monk realized they had not taken his walking stick ... This monk pursued them for many days until he was able to give them the stick as well ... Seeimg his humility, the bandits returned everything to him and were converted to Jesus Christ..."
(Commentary of the Orthodox study Bible)
We see in vv. 44-47: how to be freed from hate, sadness, and anger, and by this we can receive the greater virtue: Perfect love ... To love our enemies is not just an emotion, but also includes decisions and actions ... We are to see and treat our enemies like we would a close member of our own family... (see also 1 John 4:7-21) ...
We grow in perfection of the Father - (Ephesians 4:13; and see 2 Peter 1- talking about "Diefication"), which is shown by imitating His love and mercy - (read and also compare - Luke 6:36) ...
See my video for the devotional prayer focus and the answers to the moving forward questions, it's too much to type this evening, I'm feeling a bit tired again ...
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord [a]lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.” ’
In Christ love Jared W Campbell