Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Commands of Christ - Matthew 5:38-42

"You have heard that it was said, 'AN EYE FOR AN EYE AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away." -Matthew 5:38-42

Who is this command spoken to?

This command is given in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is preaching to multitudes and his disciples are in the front row.

What does this command require?

Turn the other cheek when struck by an enemy; give freely to those who sue you and ask to borrow your things; go two miles with the one who asks you to go one.

What truths do we learn from this command?

There is much to say here. To wrap what Jesus is teaching here in one statement: Do the unexpected. The world expects a person to retaliate when struck by an enemy. The world expects a person to fight in court and withhold payment when sued. The world expects a person to not fulfill his promise of going the whole mile. The world expects a person to have a tight grip on their things and not to share with them. Jesus commands you to do the unexpected. Don't retaliate, share freely with even your enemies in court, and go beyond what is required.

The world will respond with surprise when you obey this command. They expect you to do one evil thing, and you do something completely good and opposite of what they expected. In essence, by responding in obedience to this command, you will show the world that you are different from them. This is the power of a Christian testimony. A verse comes to mind: "For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men--as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king." -1 Peter 2:15-27

What are the consequences of disobeying this command?

poor Christian testimony, living just like the world, broken relationships

No comments:

Post a Comment