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Be Reconciled to Your Brother

Be Reconciled to Your Brother

Excerpt
Our relationship with God is partly contingent on how we treat others. God will not accept our gift at the altar until we reconcile with our neighbor (see similarly m. Yoma 8:9). Again Jesus depicts the situation graphically, since his Galilean hearers might have to travel a considerable distance to leave the Jerusalem temple and then return (vv. 23–24). Jesus’ following crisis parable shows how urgent the situation is (vv. 25–26). Imprisonment was generally a temporary holding place until punishment; here, however, a longer penalty is envisaged. The last penny (Greek kodrantēs, Roman quadrans) refers to the second-smallest Roman coin, only a few minutes’ wages for even a day laborer.
Through a variety of terrible images, Jesus indicates that when we damage our relationships with others, we damage our relationship with God, leading to eternal punishment (compare 18:21–35). More
Keener, Craig S. Matthew. Vol. 1. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series.
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