Summary: This is a revamp of a same sermon I did in 1996, I hope it is better this time
• One winter day a man went shopping at the local neighborhood mall. When he returned to his car he noticed a rather foul odor coming from under the hood and so he checked the engine. In the compartment he discovered a dead cat rather mutilated from being caught in the fan belt. The poor cat had sought shelter from the snow and cold and didn’t realize the dangers of resting on the engine block. Mr. Jones was lucky though, one of his shopping bags was made of plastic and so he emptied its contents and proceeded to scrape, pull and push the cat corpse into the bag. With a bang he slammed the hood down and walked off to wash his hands, but looking back he noticed something unusual. He had left the bag on the hood of the car. He was about to return and pick it up but just then a lady walks by, looks suspiciously in both directions, she grabs the bag, and with her cart she then speeds off for the mall. "Well this is too good to be true!" The man thought as he laughed at the lady. He decided to follow her and see what would happen next. She went to a restaurant and proceeded to survey her prize. "Yeek!" She screamed as she looked in the bag. And then over she fell. Of course, the management was equally alarmed that a customer had fainted in their establishment and so they called the paramedics. The woman in no time at all was strapped to a cart and ready to be hauled off to the ambulance. But the man couldn’t resist. "Hey lady!" He shouted, "Don’t forget your package!" And with that he gently laid the cat corpse filled bag on the lady’s chest, just as the ambulance doors were closing!
• This story is funny because it reflects the, “She got what she got what deserved” lessons.
• We all probably have some personal stories about a time in which we “got even” with someone who perpetrated evil of some kind against us.
• One of my good friends I used to work with in the factory used to say, “I do not get mad or even, I get ahead.” Oh, the stories I could tell you about some of the mean things that were done by all of us in the name of getting ahead.
• The desire to get “even” or to seek revenge against people is one of the toughest things for most of us resist.
• When people wrong us, insult us or take our property, our desire is to see them pay for what they did to us.
• The question we all need to ask ourselves today is, are we willing to go the extra mile for Jesus? Just how far will we allow our faith to penetrate our lives?
• Jesus said that if we want to see the kingdom of heaven that our righteousness needs to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees.
• Today we are going to see what Jesus says about the subject of retaliation.
• The title of this morning’s message is “Going the Extra Mile.”
• How should one who has their citizenship in heaven respond when things happen to them? Should we respond like the world would, or does Jesus expect something more from us?
I. THE OLD WAY OF CONDUCT (VERSE 38)
• This was not revenge, but it was justice. The eye for an eye was designed to set guidelines for the judges when trying to decide what was appropriate payment of justice for a wrong suffered. Intent was also taken under consideration.
• It appears that AN EYE FOR AN EYE was not always practiced literally in
ancient Israel, and by the time of Jesus, physical penalties were largely replaced
by monetary fines. Nevertheless, the precept presupposes a world where
violence and injustice are taken for granted.
• The eye for an eye was not a command; it was a guideline to make sure that judgments were fair. An eye for an eye was the worst punishment that could be given.
• Revenge happens when we feel that justice was not served, so God in His wisdom said that an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth would ensure that people would not seek revenge.
• The problem started coming when people started using the eye for an eye standard to extract their own justice. The eye for an eye was not meant to be carried out except by the court.
• The farmer had been pestered by a carload of people who delighted in climbing an orchard fence and eating his apples without asking permission. One day, as he walked up to them, one of them smiled sheepishly and said, "We hope you don’t mind that we took a few of your apples." "No, not at all," said the farmer, "and I hope you don’t mind that I took some of the air out of your tires."