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Jesus Christ said the following words recorded in Matthew 5:25 "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison."

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/5.25?lang=eng#24

Similarly in 3 Nephi 25-26 of the book of Mormon when Jesus Christ visited the people in America after his resurrection he spoke the words "Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him, lest at any time he shall get thee, and thou shalt be cast into prison. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence until thou hast paid the uttermost senine. And while ye are in prison can ye pay even one senine? Verily, verily, I say unto you, Nay."

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/3-ne/12.25?lang=eng#24

What does it mean to be in the way with your adversary?

How would these verses apply to real life?

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    Like while you're on the way to court, as in before you get to court: Settle out of court. – david brainerd Aug 23 '14 at 21:59
  • Are you looking for only LDS answers? – curiousdannii Aug 24 '14 at 0:48
  • I think he just cross-ref'ed the Book of Mormon for added context to help the answerer. I'm not sure that the LDS answer would be any different than any general Christian's answer. – Matt Aug 24 '14 at 1:10
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    @IntegrityFirst From a Catholic Perspective, this is passage is also read as referring to those things that if not paid for in this life, must be paid for in purgatory before one is admitted in heaven. Please see this answer. – user13992 Aug 29 '14 at 6:52
  • @curiousdannii I would be interested in knowing different perspectives on the interpretation of the verse and it's application to life. – BrightIntelDusk Aug 29 '14 at 15:18
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The meaning of Matthew 5:25 may be clearer if you consult a more recent translation:

Come to terms quickly while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. [NRSV]

  • I think there is more to it than that. – gideon marx Aug 24 '14 at 19:17
  • Such as, gideon? – brasshat Aug 24 '14 at 19:28
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Matthew is talking here about the thoughts that lead one to commit a crime. For emphasis, he gives two examples that can better be understood by looking at verse 5:25 in the context of a longer passage, Matthew 5:21-28, which I will discuss in two parts.

Matthew 5:21-26: "You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgement.' But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement, and whoever says to his brother, 'Raqa,' will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.

The Greek word used here for brother is gender neutral and does not necessarily imply siblings. Anger can inflame a situation and lead to killing, so Jesus says:

  • Whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement
  • Whoever says to his brother, Raqa, ['empty'] will be answerable to the Sanhedrin
  • Whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.

Instead, verse 5:25 says that if someone has anything against you, to be reconciled with him and reach a settlement before this goes to court. Otherwise, the judge may find against you and hand you over for imprisonment.

Matthew 5:27-28: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew then says that just as anger can lead to killing, so also lust can lead to adultery. He says that anyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery in his heart.

So, in real life: hold your temper and avoid inflaming a situation, particularly if you may be in the wrong. Note that this is equally true whether your opponent is taking you to court or simply in dispute with you. In the second example, do not lust after a woman if this would result in adultery, because your very thoughts are adulterous.

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