What Does it Mean To Hallow God’s Name?

When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name….’” (Luke 11:2)

The Lord’s Prayer is loaded with meaning that we don’t fully appreciate because of cultural differences.1 In particular, the phrase “hallowed be your name” sounds foreign to us. This phrase is very rich in its original context and has an important lesson for our calling as Christians.

God’s Name as His Reputation

In ancient thinking, a person’s name was connected with his identity, authority and reputation. You might not think that God’s reputation would be an issue, but the idea of his reputation growing greater and greater throughout the world is a central theme of the biblical story.

At first, God taught only one nation, the Jews, how to live and he told them to be a “kingdom of priests” and a “light to the nations” so that the world may know about the true God of Israel (Ex. 19:6).2 Then, in the coming of Christ, God made his identity more clear, and sent his people to “make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19).

The overall idea is that God’s reputation would expand over the earth as people come to know who he is. This is the means by which salvation is being brought to the world as people hear good things about God, and accept Christ as their Savior. We can see that God’s reputation, or God’s “name” is of critical importance for his plan of salvation.

In the Lord’s prayer, the phrases “hallowed be your name,” “your kingdom come,” and “your will be done on earth” are related to each other in meaning. All of them are expressing the desire that God’s reputation grow on earth, that people accept God’s reign and desire to do his will.

This is probably the main intent of Jesus’ use of “hallowed be your name,” but an excellent lesson for how it is accomplished comes from the Jewish understanding of the idea of “hallowing (sanctifying) the name,” Kiddush HaShem. The opposite is Hillul HaShem — to profane the name.3 These two phrases are rich with significance in Jewish tradition and are still used today.

Why is Keeping God’s Name Holy So Important?

The rabbis of Jesus’ time closely studied the scriptures and made an interesting observation. Out of all of the ten commandments, only one carried with it a grave threat of punishment. Surprisingly it is not the prohibition against theft or murder, but rather against taking the name of the Lord in vain! The scriptures say “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain” (Ex. 20:7 NASB).

Does it seem strange that this commandment, which we interpret as a prohibition against swearing, is the only one that God promises to punish? Aren’t other sins equally or more serious?

The rabbis believed that this commandment may also have a much greater meaning.4 They pointed out that the command literally says, “You shall not lift up the name (reputation) of the Lord for an ’empty thing,'” and they interpreted that to mean, to do something evil in the name of God which would give God a bad reputation.

In Lev. 19:12, this is called “profaning the name of God”, and is referred to as Hillul HaShem in Hebrew. It is to do something evil and associate the name of God with it, which is a sin against God himself who suffers from having his reputation defamed.

Profaning the Name of God

Some examples of this clarify why “profaning the name of God” is considered an extremely serious sin. When a terrorist shouts out “Allah Akbar” (God is great) before carrying out acts of murder, the response of the world is to say, “What wicked God do you serve who commands you do such terrible things?”

CrusadesThis not only occurs in other religions, but unfortunately in Christianity as well. When televangelists commit fraud, it hardens non-believers to the message of Christ. Or, consider the Crusades, which happened almost a thousand years ago. They are still remembered with hatred because Christians murdered Jews and Muslims in the name of Christ. God’s reputation in the world has been slandered, and evangelism is seriously hindered because of the evil actions of those who bear his name.

Even in the lives of average people, this can happen. How many stories have we heard of people who were treated unfairly by church members, and have never returned to the church? They have said in their hearts, “I don’t want anything to do with you or your God.” When a church-goer is dishonest in business, rude to his neighbors, or regularly uses profanity and dirty jokes, it is a witness against Christ to the world around us. Each of us is easily capable of profaning God’s name, a very serious sin indeed.

To Sanctify the Name

Just as evil actions can damage the reputation of God in the world, good actions can bring honor to God, and this is called “sanctifying God’s name,” Kiddush HaShem. This means to live in such a way as to bring God glory — as when Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

The rabbis described it as one of three things: to live a life of integrity, carefully observing the biblical commands; or to do some heroic deed, like risking one’s life to save another; or even to be martyred to honor God. We think of spreading the gospel through information, but they point out that the world is watching our lives too. When we think of sanctifying God’s name, these stories speak volumes:

  • Many En-Gedi supporters contributed money toward the installation of some water units for villages in Uganda. When the site preparation team was visiting these sites, they were welcomed enthusiastically by each village with a ceremony of thanks. Our local coordinator, Rev. Titus Baraka, made a point to explain that these water systems were brought in the name of Jesus Christ, who brings living water to the world. He also explained that this water is not only for Anglicans or Protestants, or Catholics or Muslims, but for everyone in the community.
    One local water committee member stood up to make the following remark: “I represent the Muslim community here. When I see that you have come here at great expense… when I see the way you do your work… when I see that you want to show love to people you don’t even know, I realize that you serve a greater God than I do. It makes me want to “cross over” to become a Christian.”

  • Jonathan Miles is a Christian who has a ministry of bringing Palestinian and Iraqi children to Israeli hospitals for heart surgery.5 His work has a powerful impact on the Muslims and Jews who see him and his staff regularly risk their lives, in the name of Christ, to serve others.
    One time, while he was waiting to pick up an infant in Gaza, he was verbally assaulted by a Hamas member for several minutes. When the man finally asked him why he was there, he explained that he was trying to locate a certain infant who needed medical care. When the man heard what his mission was, he was like a balloon quickly deflated!
    He immediately asked how he could help and took Jonathan all around town searching for the infant. They actually became friends over time! Jonathan said that the man is now even considering becoming a Christian. What a profound change came over this man from Jonathan’s actions to serve God.

Hallowing God’s Name with our Lives

We have all heard of heroic Christians like Corrie Ten Boom or Dietrich Bonhoeffer who by their actions make people ask the question, “Who is this Christ, that you would sacrifice so much to serve him?”

The ultimate example of sanctifying God’s name, however, is Jesus himself. As God incarnate, his death on the cross has proclaimed to all the world that the God of Israel is a merciful, self-sacrificial God. No one who believes that Jesus is God himself can claim that God is cruel or uncaring because Jesus has proven otherwise through his own actions. Because of his great sacrifice, God’s reputation has expanded to the ends of the world.

As Jesus’ followers, we are commanded to be like him, as a “nation of priests” and a light to the world. We need to be always aware that the world is watching, so that our actions always reflect the holiness and love of the God that we serve.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).

We are under constant scrutiny whether we are aware of it or not. Let us always try to be a favorable witness to the Holy Name whose image we bear.

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1 A series of articles on the Lord’s Prayer in its Jewish context by Dr. Brad Young can be found at www.jerusalemperspective.com. (Premium Content subscription required.)

2 See the En-Gedi article “Letting Our Tassels Show” for more about the idea of being a “kingdom of priests.”

3 H. H. Ben-Sasson, Kiddush Ha-Shem and Hillul HaShem, Encyclopedia Judaica CD-ROM, Version 1.0, 1997

4 J. Telushkin, The Book of Jewish Values, p 197. Copyright 2000, Bell Tower. ISBN 0-609-60330-2. (This is an outstanding book on ethics for living. Available at Barnes & Noble or online.)

5 Jonathan Miles’ ministry is called Shevet Achim.

Photos: Yoav Dothan [Public domain]; Jenaer Kodex [Public domain]; Painting “Jesus Washing Peter’s Feet” by Ford Maddox Brown)

The Other Lord’s Prayer

by Bruce Okkema

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3

One of the most moving experiences of my devotional life centered around this prayer of Jesus. We were involved in a small group Bible study working through the book of John. On the particular week that we were to study John 17, the leader asked if we could do something a bit out of the ordinary to begin our lesson, and to this day, if you asked anyone who was there, I’m sure they will remember it.

The leader said, “I would like to play the role of Jesus, and I would like you to imagine that you are His friends who are there with Him in the final hours before He went to the cross. At the same time you are listening as if you were there, also think about how Jesus was looking far into the future and including all of us in His conversation with His Father.” Then the leader turned down the lights and prayed Jesus’ prayer for us.

I am asking you now to hear this prayer in that same spirit as you read it through. Be listening to how much Jesus loves you, and how He selflessly pleads for you before His Father. Then please carry these wonderful thoughts throughout the rest of your life, sharing them with others who need to know along the way.

Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” – John 17:1-26

The Prayers of Children

by Laura Tverberg (Lois’ mother)

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:15-17

A very old hymn has these words:

Prayer is the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try;
Pray’r sublimest strains that reach the Majesty on high. – James Montgomery, 1818

Even though children now don’t see Jesus in person, they can visualize Him in their mind’s eye as they’ve seen Him in any of the many paintings depicting Jesus with children. They are naturally able to trust, because they are entirely dependent on others. It makes it possible to receive God’s kingdom, as Jesus said, with the trust that everyone needs. Children learn by imitating, and by sitting quietly with folded hands at prayer time at home, they will learn simple petitions. Their hymns of praise are surely pleasing to our Lord Jesus. Thinking of Jesus as a close friend is helped by remembering the words of the familiar hymn, “What a friend we have in Jesus . . . what a privilege to carry everything to the Lord in prayer.

Many people whose learning ability is limited are also able to offer prayers with confidence that they are heard by a loving Lord. A Christian friend said that when she is asked to pray for others, she has her disabled adolescent daughter also offer intercessory prayer. That was a surprise to me, but how good to know that such persons, childlike, in a way, offer prayers which are pleasing to the Lord and receive His blessing.

Forgive Us as We Forgive

by Lois Tverberg

“Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.” Luke 11:4

This petition of the Lord’s Prayer is a challenge to us — to ask for God’s forgiveness in the measure that we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. It is a difficult command from Jesus, but if we obey it, we can know that not only are we right with God, but we are free from the damaging effects of anger and feelings of vengeance toward others.

It is interesting to see the background of Jesus’ words about being forgiven as we forgive others. This command is most likely comes from the rabbinic understanding one of the two great commands – to love your neighbor as yourself.

We, of course understand that we should love others with the same measure that we love ourselves, which is certainly very true! But the rabbis also saw that the Hebrew of that verse can also be read as, “Love your neighbor who is like yourself.” While either interpretation is valid, their emphasis was not on comparing love of ourselves with love for others, but on comparing other people to ourselves, and then loving them because they are like us in our own frailties. The need to be forgiving arises naturally from realizing this fact. Even before Jesus’ time, it was expressed this way:

Forgive your neighbor’s injustice; then, when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. Should a person nourish anger against another, and expect healing from the Lord? Should a person refuse mercy to a man like himself, yet seek pardon for his own sins? (28:2-4) (Ben Sira, c. 180 B.C.)

When we realize that we are just as guilty of sin as those we are angry with, we see that we shouldn’t bear grudges against them, but to forgive and love them instead. Jesus’ petition about forgiveness could almost have the words of the great commandment in it. We could say, “Please love us even though we are sinners, as we love other sinners like ourselves.”

Forgiving sins is one of the strongest tests of love – it is easy to love someone who has treated us rightly, but to love someone who has hurt us is far more difficult. God must love us greatly if He keeps forgiving our sins against Him.

Give Us Our Daily Bread

by Lois Tverberg

He will give the rain for your land in its season, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil, and you will eat and be satisfied. Deuteronomy 11:14-15, edited.

The line from the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread” is a line that most Americans can hardly relate to. We may guess that “bread” was representational of food in general, so the text is talking about the provision we need for life each day. But we are so amply supplied that we can’t imagine praying that prayer.

Rev. Stephen Kaziimba, who came to our area from Uganda has been teaching us otherwise about how much of the world hears these words. After he had been in Michigan for a year, he was asked what he would remember longest from being here. His reply was, “All my life, I will never forget having this one year when I did not need to worry about food.”

I was dumbfounded by that statement, that a good friend could come from a place where such basic necessities were unmet. He pointed out that in America we have food but no appetite, but where he comes from, people have appetite but no food. In his country, “Give us our daily bread” is a heartfelt prayer, expressing the continual worry of most people.

Now, when I read the Scriptures, I see that his perspective is more close to that of the Bible than mine is. One of God’s promises that the Israelites would have heard as a great blessing was that they “will eat and be satisfied.” To have enough to be full was a blessing from the Lord, and to be fat was a sign of beauty and bounty. As one who is a little overweight, it shows me both that God has abundantly blessed me, and that I’m not doing enough to share the blessings with others in need.

Sometimes the best way to pray a prayer is to live the prayer. Now, whenever I hear the words “Give us our daily bread” it will remind me to to not overbuy food when I go shopping, to not order huge portions in restaurants, and to eat my leftovers before they go bad. And most of all, it will remind me to be thankful for the abundant food we have and to be mindful of the needs of others.

Thy Kingdom Come

by Lois Tverberg

Pray, then, in this way: “Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” Matthew 6:9-10

Even though Jesus often talks about the kingdom, many of us struggle to understand what Jesus meant by “thy kingdom come.” We read two different phrases in the gospels – “kingdom of heaven” and “kingdom of God.” In Matthew, “kingdom of heaven” is used, while in Mark and Luke, “kingdom of God” is used. This is because Jews show respect for God by not pronouncing his name. Matthew is preserving the culturally-correct quote “kingdom of heaven” while Mark and Luke are explaining to Gentile audiences that “heaven” is a reference to God.

The primary understanding of the kingdom of heaven was God’s reign over the lives of people who enthrone him as king. The rabbis knew that most of the world did not know God, but the scriptures said that one day, “The LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.” (Zechariah 14:9)

The question of Jesus’ time was when and how God would establish this kingdom. It was thought that when the Messiah came, the Kingdom of God would arrive all at once with great glory. But Jesus disagrees:

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20

Jesus meant that a person is brought into the kingdom of God when a person repents and decides to accept God as his King, and it is something that happens in a person’s heart, not a political movement or visible display of God’s power.

So what did Jesus mean by the phrase “your kingdom come”? He is talking about God’s reign over our lives, not about a future display of God’s power. He uses it in parallel with the next line in the text. The two phrases “your kingdom come” and “your will be done on earth” are synonymous. These phrases both mean, “May all nations of the earth enthrone you as king! May everyone on earth know you and do your will!”

Just Like Yourself

by Lois Tverberg

“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.”
Leviticus 19:18

EmbraceThe commonly understood interpretation of “Love your neighbor as yourself” is that we should love others with the same measure that we love ourselves, which is certainly very true. But the rabbis also saw that the Hebrew of that verse can also be read as, “Love your neighbor who is like yourself.” This actually fits the original context of Lev. 19:18 better, “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor, as/like yourself; I am the LORD.”

While either interpretation is valid, their emphasis was less on comparing love of ourselves with love for others, and more on comparing other people to ourselves, and then loving them because they are like us in our own frailties. When we realize that we are guilty of the same sins that others are, we see that we shouldn’t bear grudges against them, but to forgive and love them instead. One wise saying that comes from this is:

Forgive your neighbor’s injustice; then, when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. Should a person nourish anger against another, and expect healing from the Lord? Should a person refuse mercy to a man like himself, yet seek pardon for his own sins? (28:2-4) (Ben Sira, c. 180 B.C.)

While what we have always understood as Christians about loving our neighbor as ourselves still remains true, the rabbis’ perspective highlights the fact that the time when we need to show love most is when we need to forgive other’s sins against us. In this regard, we can hear the background of the verse of the Lord’s Prayer that says, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”. We could almost say, “Please love us even though we are sinners, as we love other sinners like ourselves.” Forgiving sins is one of the strongest tests of love — it is easy to love someone who has treated us rightly, but to love someone who has hurt us is far more difficult. God continues to love us even though we sin against him; how much more should we who are sinners love and forgive other sinners like ourselves.

Measure for Measure

by Lois Tverberg

“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into
your lap a good measure-pressed down, shaken
together, and running over. For by your standard of
measure it will be measured to you in return.”
Luke 6:38

We all know the line of the Lord’s Prayer that says, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us” Jesus often emphasized the idea that the way we treat others is the way God will treat us, and that we should have mercy on others if we want God to have mercy on us. Jesus says that “with the measure you use, it will be measured out to you.” (Luke 6:38)

ScaleThis idea of “measure for measure,” expecting God to treat us as we treat others, has been a part of Jewish culture ever since Jesus’ time. One rabbi who lived in the 18th century had an interesting spin on it, saying:

“When a poor man asks you for aid, do not use his faults as an excuse for not helping him. For then God will look for your offenses and he is sure to find many. (1)

This is very convicting, because often when a person is experiencing hardship, the first thing we wonder is whether they brought it on themselves. We might say, “Well, you made your bed, now lie in it!” But, who among us has not ruined something important in our lives? A person may have lost a job or destroyed a marriage by his own irresponsible behavior, but it still doesn’t mean that he doesn’t need our help.

It is an interesting challenge that instead of acting in judgment for the way others run their lives, our first thought should be how we might help them. Certainly, we need to have discernment about whether we are an “enabler” to a person who needs to change how they live. But knowing that a person has faults should not harden us to asking how we can care for them. Otherwise, the next time we beg the Lord for his help, we might hear him answer back, “You brought your problems on yourself – why should I help you?”


(1) Rabbi Shmelke of Nikolsberg, (d. 1778), quoted in Jewish Wisdom, by J. Telushkin, (c) 1994, Morrow and Co., p. 15.

Photo: Rick Hunter

Keep Us From Evil

by Lois Tverberg

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil … (NASB) or – the evil one. (NIV) Matthew 6:13

This is a line from the Lord’s prayer that is confusing to many. Some translations say “deliver us from evil,” others say “deliver us from the evil one.” Does it mean evil in general, or Satan in particular? And why would we ask God not to tempt us? Since Jesus told us to pray this way, certainly it would benefit us to clarify his words.

A key to understanding is to look at how the phrase “deliver us from evil” is used in both the Bible and in other Jewish prayers. In Psalm 121 it says,

The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. (Psalm 121:5-7)

Here, protection from evil means protection from harm in general. And indeed the Hebrew word “ra” (evil or bad) is broad, and can include injury and misfortune as well as moral evil. In Psalm 141, the prayer asks for protection against doing evil:

Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies. (Psalm 141:3-4)

Other Jewish prayers include the words “protect us from evil,” and can give us some insight. In the Talmud* a prayer expands on the meanings of the Hebrew word ra, “evil,” by saying, “Deliver me…from a bad person, a bad companion, a bad injury, an evil inclination, and from Satan, the destroyer.” Four times the word for “evil” is used, and here it is a petition to ask God to deliver the person from harm, but also from sin and the company of those who would cause a person to sin as well, and even Satan.

What about the line before “keep us from evil,” which is “lead us not into temptation”? This phrase is a Jewish way of saying “Do not let us succumb to the temptation of sin.” It is a parallelism to the next line, meaning, “Do not let us succumb to the evil inside us, do not let us sin.” Once again it is asking God to protect us from the evil we ourselves can do.

We would not go wrong in understanding these two lines as meaning, “Oh Lord, help us to keep doing your will, and don’t let us be led away from your path. Keep us from the evil within us and from spiritual forces of evil, and keep us from all harm and calamity too.” It is an all-encompassing plea for God to protect us from what is outside us, but what is inside as well.

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SittingTo explore this topic more, see chapter 5, “Get Yourself Some Haverim” in Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, Zondervan, 2009, p. 66-77.

*The Talmud is a compendium of Jewish commentary written about 300 AD, containing oral traditions from Jesus’ time and before. This quote is from Berachot 16b.
A major source for this article is Deliver Us From Evil, by Dr. Randall Buth, in the online jounal www.JerusalemPerspective.com.

Measure for Measure

by Lois Tverberg

So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt. – Genesis 37:28

At the opening of the book of Exodus, we learn that four hundred years after the family of Jacob went down to Egypt to live, they have been enslaved. It is ironic that the brothers never would have moved their families to Egypt if they had not sold their brother Joseph into slavery there. In a strange way, when they sold one member into slavery, they were selling their own family into future slavery. Their fate is linked to their sin, somehow.

bronze scaleThe rabbis pointed out that this pattern of the punishment fitting the crime is a recurring theme throughout the Scriptures. Because Jacob deceived Isaac in his blindness into giving him the birthright, Jacob is fooled into marrying Leah when he is “blind” – when she is brought to him veiled, and in the night he doesn’t see his new wife. Or, because Pharaoh killed the Israelite boys by drowning them in the river, God defeated his army by drowning them too. Haman was hanged on the gallows that he prepared for Mordechai. The rabbis called this pattern “measure for measure” – midah keneged midah.

While this is the pattern for divine justice, God tells the people of Israel that they should use midah keneged midah in a different way. They are to show mercy on the aliens and foreigners, because they were once foreigners too, in the land of Egypt. Instead of remembering their suffering there in order to be cruel or vengeful, they should remember how it felt to be in a strange land and to be oppressed, and to have compassion on others because of it.

Jesus tells us the same thing – that when we remember how much we’ve been forgiven, it should make us desire to forgive others too. He says that with the measure that we use, it will be measured to us as well.


For more on the concept of “Measure for Measure,” see the article at this link.

Photocred: Bibleplaces.com