Sermon on the Mount
What is the meaning of Matthew 5:40-41, "And if anyone sue you and take your coat let him have your cloak as well"? Is this love or becoming a fool?
This is both love and becoming a fool, a stranger to worldly "wisdom."
Matthew 5:40 is part of the Sermon on the Mount - the collection of Jesus' core teachings. The community that wrote Matthew wanted all his teachings in one place, so they compiled the Sermon. The whole Christian path is laid out in Matthew 5–7. It contains a recipe for turning away from temporal concerns, toward the eternal reality. This is a useful path, and a radical one.
The first part is the Beatitudes, (5:3-11), which basically says: Those who abandon the pursuit of power and fame are the lucky ones.
The next part discusses your true nature. (5:13–14). This is my all-time favorite spiritual nugget:
You are like salt. If salt lost its flavor, how would you salt it?
Your nature is the eternal spirit. You don't have to do anything special to find it. Just turn away from any other concern.
The next part sets one thing straight: (5:17–20) Turning away from the world doesn't mean discarding ethical principles. This path doesn't stop at external behavior, but aims for the perfection of the heart. Desire is tantamount to adultery, and any indignation, however justified, preoccupies the mind. So don't desire an attractive person or resist a troublesome one.
Here's where Matthew 5:40 comes in:
If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.
If you're worried about what somebody did to you, you're blocking your access to eternity. This advice is as inner-directed as it gets. Taking it as inspiration for social movements or prosperity manifestations only reveals our outward focus. This path explodes any preoccupation that would keep us from knowing love and peace in this moment.