Verily I say unto you, you shall by no means come out of there, till you have paid the last penny.
All Commentaries on Matthew 5:26 Go To Matthew 5
From what precedes and follows, we are given to understand that our Lord and Savior exhorts us to peace and harmony while we are pilgrims in this world. As the apostle says, “Strive for peace with all persons.” For in the previous section Jesus said, “If you are offering your gift and there remember that your brother has something against you,” he immediately goes on to say “make friends” or come to terms with “your opponent,” and so forth. Then he orders, “Love your enemies and bless those who hate you and pray for those who persecute you.” This is clear from the explanation that follows. Many people, however, have a confused idea of the flesh and the soul or the soul and the spirit. They wonder: How is the flesh to be sent to prison if the soul is at odds with it, for the soul and the flesh must be united and the flesh can do nothing unless the mind gives the order? And how can the Holy Spirit dwelling in us turn over to a judge the opposing flesh or soul when he himself is the judge? The epistle of Peter says, “Our adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion.” Some interpret that the adversary is the devil. Then they draw the odd conclusion that they are being counseled by the Savior that as far as possible we should be kind toward the devil who is the enemy and avenger. Nor should we make him suffer for us—though he offers incentives to vice to us who sin through our own will—by consenting to have him who is the great troublemaker suffer punishment also for our sake. They say that each saint should be benevolent to this demonic adversary by not making him suffer torments on his account. Thus some people rashly reason that individuals make a covenant with the devil in baptism by saying, “I relinquish to you, Satan, your splendors and your vices and your world steeped in wickedness.” If we therefore keep that covenant, we will be benevolent and obliging toward our adversary and by no means deserving of imprisonment. .