A Love Like Sunshine? Reflections on Matthew 5:38-48

In our text, the analogy could be expressed like this:

Love those who are like you: Christians :: greet only your friends : tax collectors and Gentiles

Remember the rule that to figure out an analogy we start by determining the relationship between the first pair of words.

In standardized tests, there are lots of options for relationships between the word pairs, fourteen to be exact. See which one you think verse 46 is.

1. Sameness (synonyms)
wealthy : affluent : : indigent : poverty-stricken
boring : monotonous
2. Oppositeness (antonyms)
zenith : nadir : : pinnacle : valley
genuine : phony
3. Classification Order (general - specific)
orange : fruit : : beet : vegetable
food : fruit : peach
4. Difference of Degree (or Connotative Values)
slender : skinny
clever : crafty : : modest : prim
cool : cold : frozen
5. Person Related to Tool, Major Trait, Skill, or Interest
entomologist : insects : : philosopher : ideas
writer : novel
6. Part and Whole
eraser : pencil : : tooth : comb
wheels : bicycle
7. Steps in a Process
cooking : serving : : word processing : printing
birth : life : death
8. Cause and Effect (or Typical Result)
fire : scorch : : blizzard : freeze
poison : death
9. Thing and Its Function
scissors : cut : : pen : write
shovel : dig
10. Qualities or Characteristics
aluminum : lightweight : : thread : fragile
gold : valuable
11. Substance Related to End Product
silk : scarf : : wool : sweater
cow : milk
12. Implied Relationships
clouds : sun : : hypocrisy : truth
light : knowledge
13. Thing and What It Lacks
atheist : belief : : indigent : money
spinster : husband
14. Symbol and What It Represents
dove : peace : : four-leaf clover : luck
Uncle Sam : U. S.

If you guessed #1, you are correct! If we habitually retaliate and hate, we are exactly the same as those who instinctively and consistently retaliate when wrong is done to them. We are exactly the same as those who instinctively and consistently love those who love them and hate those who hate them. We are synonymous with the world around us and its dominant values.

I began these thoughts by admitting that, lacking a divine intervention or radical change agent, that's where I would stay. Jesus' teachings in these two antitheses introduce us to that change agent, the love of God, as indiscriminate and life-giving as the sun that shines on all the inhabitants of the earth.

Sources Consulted

http://www.mhhe.com/socscience/english/spears/stu3/studisk/verbal_analogies/va_intro.htm

2/17/2014 5:00:00 AM