As I read this passage, I immediately was reminded of Zacchaeus from Luke 19:1-10 when he states that he'll pay back four times what he took. I always thought this sounded kind of excessive.
Now I see that this was what a thief caught stealing a sheep was required to pay back. This tells us a little more about what those during Jesus' day thought of tax collectors!
|Although most of us don't own livestock,|
we can see how respecting the property
of our neighbors still applies.
to oppress the aliens among us which may speak to how we deal with immigration. We are taught not to take advantage of the poor which may speak to laws concerning credit card interest.
A timely law might be in verse 28 which suggests that we shall not curse our leader. As we seek to elect another president, we can see that we have been willing to curse our potential leaders! I'm reasonably sure that about half of the country will be disappointed with the person we elect. Maybe this verse is teaching us that cursing our leader reflects poorly upon us.
There have certainly been elected officials with whom I've disagreed. Disagreeing is within our rights as citizens. But there also seems to be a line we shouldn't cross. What would our discourse look like in this country if we followed this law today? How might you watch your speech concerning leadership so that it is truly constructive criticism? What if we listened to political commentary with a critical ear and ceased to give weight when the pundit crossed into personal attack?
Photo by Nicolas Vigier via Flickr.com, used by permission under the Creative Commons license.