Even as your Father
Γίνεσθε οἰκτίρμονες, καθὼς ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν οἰκτίρμων ἐστίν
The result of the kindness of God was that the followers of Jesus should also be merciful (Γίνεσθε οἰκτίρμονες), even as their Father is merciful (καθὼς ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν οἰκτίρμων ἐστίν). Matthew, chapter 5:48, had Jesus say that they should be perfect, like their heavenly Father by loving and greeting everyone. Only Matthew had this emphasis on perfection, completeness, or maturity, while Luke had Jesus emphasize mercy. Would you rather be merciful or perfect?
“If you love those
Who love you,
What reward do you have?
Do not even the tax collectors
Do the same?
If you greet only
Your brothers and sisters,
What more are you doing
Do not even the gentiles
Do the same?
As your heavenly Father
ἐὰν γὰρ ἀγαπήσητε τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας ὑμᾶς, τίνα μισθὸν ἔχετε; οὐχὶ καὶ οἱ τελῶναι τὸ αὐτὸ ποιοῦσιν;
καὶ ἐὰν ἀσπάσησθε τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς ὑμῶν μόνον, τί περισσὸν ποιεῖτε; οὐχὶ καὶ οἱ ἐθνικοὶ τὸ αὐτὸ ποιοῦσιν;
Ἔσεσθε οὖν ὑμεῖς τέλειοι ὡς ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τέλειός ἐστιν.
Once again Matthew and Luke, chapter 6:32-34, are almost the same, perhaps a slightly different use of the Q source. If you only loved those who loved you (ἐὰν γὰρ ἀγαπήσητε τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας ὑμᾶς), what kind of reward would you get (τίνα μισθὸν ἔχετε)? Even the Roman tax collectors (οὐχὶ καὶ οἱ τελῶναι τὸ αὐτὸ ποιοῦσιν) love those who love them. If you only just greet your brothers (καὶ ἐὰν ἀσπάσησθε τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς ὑμῶν μόνον), the members of your own family, what is the big deal or so extraordinary (τί περισσὸν ποιεῖτε)? Even the gentiles or non-Jewish people (οἱ ἐθνικοὶ), since almost all the followers of Jesus were Jewish, did that (οὐχὶ καὶ οἱ ἐθνικοὶ τὸ αὐτὸ ποιοῦσιν). If they wanted to be perfect (Ἔσεσθε οὖν ὑμεῖς τέλειοι), like their heavenly Father (ὡς ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τέλειός ἐστιν), they had to love and greet everyone. Only Matthew has this emphasis on perfection, completeness, or maturity (τέλειός).
“But the prolific brood of the ungodly
Will be of no use.
None of their illegitimate seedlings
Will strike a deep root.
They will not take a firm hold.
Even if they put forth boughs for a while,
They will be shaken
By the wind.
They will be uprooted
By the violence of the winds.
Their branches will be broken off
Before they come to maturity.
Their fruit will be useless.
It will not be ripe enough to eat.
It is good for nothing.
Children born of unlawful unions
Are witnesses of evil
Against their parents,
When God examines them.”
This author makes a comparison between the children of the ungodly (ἀσεβῶν) from unlawful unions and a tree. Even if they have a lot of children, they will be of no use. These children will not have deep roots so that they will not last. The strong winds will uproot them. The branches of these trees, if they survive, will break off before they reach maturity. They will have useless fruit that will not be ripe enough to eat. The children of these unlawful unions (ἀνόμων ὕπνων τέκνα) are witnesses to the evil (μάρτυρές εἰσι πονηρίας) of their parents. God will examine them. Just as in the preceding chapter, this is a very strong rebuke of the so-called bastard children of these ungodly unlawful unions.
“But the children of adulterers
Will not come to maturity.
The offspring of an unlawful union
Even if they live long,
They will be held of no account.
Finally their old age
Will be without honor.
If they die young,
They will have no hope.
They will have no consolation
On the judgment day.
The end of an unrighteous generation
The children of adulterers (τέκνα δὲ μοιχῶν) will not have a good ending. They may not even come to maturity, since they may die at a young age. Even if they live long, it will not be a very rewarding life. If they get to old age, there will be no honor. If they die young, there will be no hope or consolation on the judgment day (ἡμέρᾳ διαγνώσεως). This unrighteous or unjust generation (γενεᾶς γὰρ ἀδίκου) will not end well. This was a very strong rebuke of the so-called bastard children of adulterers.