Monday, January 28, 2013

Economic Life (5) Care

Every member of the community is required to look out for their neighbour’s property and take care for it. If a person sees something belonging to a neighbour at risk, they must take action to protect it.

If you see someone’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. If they do not live near you or if you do not know who owns it, take it home with you and keep it until they come looking for it. Then give it back. Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it. If you see a donkey or ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet (Deut 22:1-3).
This requirement applies to some who dislike you.
If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it (Ex 23:4-5).
It is easy to be kind to friends. The Torah requires people to care for the property of their enemies.

When Jesus challenged his listeners to love their enemies, he was not introducing a new concept. He was confirming that the command to love your neighbour applied to neighbours who hated you, not just those who you like.

No comments: