This Sunday we will be continuing to journey through Jesus’ sermon on the mount.  As you are aware, we are going through this text in order.  A few weeks ago, when Pastor Blaine, Jonathan, and Abigail spoke, they introduced us to the “law” section of Jesus’ sermon and then they spent some time on Matthew 5:38-42…

Matthew 5:38-42  New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you: Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also, 40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, give your coat as well, 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42 Give to the one who asks of you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

Since we are going through this passage in order, we are back at Matthew 5:38-42. 

I appreciated the perspective that Abigail gave us as teenage girl living in Babylon.  Then Jonathan came with a modern-day perspective.  Neither one of them gave us the secret to the exact steps of what loving looks like as a Jesus follower.  I like the fact that Jonathan, Abigail, and Pastor Blaine didn’t answer the questions for us. 

Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth.  When we hear that law, does it seem too harsh?  What if I told you that the reason that law came into existence was to keep punishments from being too harsh?  I am not saying it worked, but maybe it is another case of we as a people tweaking the law to suit us. 

If the law Jesus is speaking to in this passage is… An eye for an eye, what do you think the heart issue that Jesus will point out? 

Here is the same passage from The Message translation…

Matthew 5:38-42  The Message

38-42 “Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

Live generously?

Jesus fulfills this law by giving us 4 scenarios.  Do you think Jesus is speaking in a literal way that he really expects us to do those things, or do you think Jesus is speaking in a figurative way like when he suggested cutting your eye out if it causes you to sin? 

Let’s talk about it on Sunday. 

~ Pastor Dustin