This week in Matthew 5:38-42, Jesus turns our world upside down with his teaching on ‘equitable justice.’ He continues to call us to go beyond the minimum and to follow him in the Kingdom of God way. It is completely counter cultural! and against our natural impulses in our sinful human nature.
Its a powerful teaching about how to counter ‘punch’ a culture and world of ‘eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth’ kind of justice. Its a powerful teaching against revenge and retaliation. Its a powerful WORD against our desire to get even or get ahead.
The New International Version translation for our text can be misleading. It reads like a series of ‘if’s’. “If anyone slaps you…” “If anyone sues you…” “If anyone forces you to go one mile…” The reality is better interpreted in the Greek as ‘when.’ “When someone slaps you…” “When anyone sues you…” “When anyone forces you to go one mile…”
Reality is we are going to get slapped, sued, pressed into service, in some way, somehow, someday, if not today. Its inevitable. The big question is this: How will we respond?
Jesus turns our world upside down. The truth is, when wronged, we strike out. Our natural impulse is to start the Rambo clip in our minds. After all, Newtons 3rd law of motion says, ‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.’ Isn’t that the way things are supposed to be?
This is so relevant for today… we live in a rights society! We wonder “what are my rights?” We pound our fists on the table saying, “It’s my right!” We scream to another, “You violated my rights.” It’s the air we breath! Isn’t this the way things are supposed to be?
Not according to Jesus. Jesus reveals another way, a new way. Can’t wait ’til Sunday.
Special Care Group Meeting this Sunday May 7th after the worship service: We will be meeting in our quarterly Care Groups with your elder and deacon teams. Details will be given Sunday am. Plan to stay and have a ‘family conversation’ as we celebrate our life together at Crestview and share prayer and feedback.
In His Grace,