Since we’re in the middle of the “Pandemic” I thought with my extra time I’d drop back and pick up where we left off on the Sermon on the Mount.
To finish off this section on “Retaliation”:
“And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” (Matt 5:40-42)
This section boils down to our rights. We as Americans have rights. Based on the Miranda Act, criminals have the right to remain silent. Last count I see on the Bill of Rights there are 27 amendments that protect the citizen from everything Freedom of religion, Freedom of speech, Freedom of the press Freedom of assembly, Right to petition, Freedom of association, Right to keep and bear arms, Right to trial by jury, Criminal procedural rights, Right to privacy, Freedom from slavery, Due process, Equal protection, Citizenship, Voting rights and Comprehensible rules (which means it has to be understandable or is void). We have rights that express the fact we have rights to have rights. The last time I checked, the Scriptures declare the only right we have is the right to go to hell. That seems a little harsh, but if God is all that He says He is (Just, Righteous, Holy, Loving , perfect in all His Ways…etc) and He is, then He can’t allow sin and the book of Romans declares ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Thus if God is just and judges sin (and He does) then all who die in sin have the right to go to hell. We’ve earned it, we deserve it and it will be given to us. The only thing that is not fair in this discussion is the fact that some will go to Heaven. But make no mistake we don’t deserve it.
If we remember back to the beginning of chapter 5, Jesus is confronting the wrong understanding of the Law and expressing what it means to be a child of God. Jesus is confirming in the Sermon on the Mount that the rights we’re convinced of from the womb (no one had to teach their child to say “No” or “Mine”) are wrong. The apostle Paul expressed it this way “6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” (Ro 2:6–8) So if we love as Paul described Love in 1 Corinthians 13 then we will be seeking the good of others which means “if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” As we are about to learn we have the right to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Now that’s a bill of rights.
It’s a high standard, no doubt, but if Jesus calls us to it He will equip us to carry it out as He sanctifies us as He has promised.
All for now. Hope you are well