Week 17
To all,
Don’t look now but we are closing in on chapter 6. So we are in the section on retaliation.

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 the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
(Mt 5:38–39).

Remember the context included the Pharisees wrong interpretation of the law, not the law itself. Originally given in Exodus 21:24, Lev 24:20 and Deut 19:21 corporately this command called for punishment that fit the crime. This doesn’t allow for excess in punishment but notice this is not to be taken individually but left in the judges hands not the individual. Remember this section deals with the individual Christian and their relationships…not to matters of the state. This section exposes our attitudes of self: self in light of what is done to us and the self in light of our possessions and self in light of retaliation.

This, like the rest of the sermon on the mount can only be carried out in the Spirit. Many want to war with our free will and just how free it is but understand that being made in God’s image allows we have a free will…it’s just that it is a slave to something; either to the flesh or to the Spirit. Paul declared that you are a slave to whatever has mastered you 13 “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
(Lk 16:13) see also John 8:34 and Matt 6:24 coming soon : )

So do we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us? By His Grace!