Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF
Jesus wasn’t really teaching them anything knew. He was only reminding them what every Jew was expected to do, but conveniently forgot. The concept of  “Tzedakah” was already latently and even in some forms explicitly prevalent in the Hebrew tradition, though the word would take deeper and wider meanings much later in the Masoretic Text and after. The concept of the Jubilee was one such practice that invited everyone to care for the other, without looking for returns or favors.

Tzedakah, which originally meant righteousness, later came to mean charity. In the Middle Ages, Maimonides gave an eight-fold hierarchy of Tsedakah, wherein the highest form—the most worthy form—was to give to the needy in order to enable him or her to live a life of dignified independence, without any expectation of receiving any favors back.

Jesus was anticipating this elaboration of such generosity. Give without expecting to get. By doing so, he wants us to become perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect (Matt 5:48) as He gives without counting the cost. We may not be able to grasp the depths of God, but by doing so, we will get a little taste of God’s manner of loving, which itself is the greatest reward we can hope for.

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF


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