Summary: There are some great responsibilities in this life, but there are also great rewards.

I. Introduction

A. This is one of the most interesting and compelling passages in the entire Bible

B. What does this passage hold for us in instruction?

C. In applying the principles Jesus taught here—how do we live, what changes must we make?

D. This is all involved in studying about "going the extra mile"

II. "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth"

A. Three Old Testament passages outline this very old law...

1. (Exodus 21:22-5) Used as a guideline for judges to determine the punishment or restoration of one who has injured another

2. (Lev 24:15-21) Moses was commanded to tell the people that this would be God’s law for them

3. (Deut 19:16-21) Commanded as a law against the false witness who sought to do harm to another by lying--Again a guide to judges

B. Some features of this law as found in the Old Testament

1. It was intended to be used as a guideline to judges, to be used with wisdom and discretion--it was not always literally carried out

2. It was a limitation on the unlimited vengeance of a victim and his family--it limited the punishment to LIKE KIND

3. It was given as a deterrent to those who would defy laws of justice and lie or cheat to obtain their own ends

4. It was as much a law of mercy as of cruelty--it set down standards of just punishment

C. Some problems with misunderstanding of the law...

1. It could be taken as license for personal vengeance, though it was never stated as such in the Old Law

2. If always taken literally, it could be both unjust and cruel if applied completely and without mercy

3. It was the kind of law that people would try to construe to their own advantage, and no doubt often did

III. MAT 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

A. What does this mean, "resist not evil"?

1. This same word for "resist" here is found in these contexts:

a) (Acts 13:8) Elymas WITHSTOOD them and Paul opposed him

b) (Gal 2:11) Paul WITHSTOOD Peter to the face

c) (Eph 6:13) We are to be able to WITHSTAND in the evil day

d) (James 4:7) RESIST the Devil, and he will flee from you

e) (I Pet 5:9) RESIST stedfast in the faith

2. What Jesus is saying is not inconsistent with the rest of these scriptural teachings--it must be taken in context

3. One commentary makes the point that being struck on the face on the "right cheek" was description of the worst kind of insult

4. There is a difference between how we handle personal insult and how we handle evil which is directed against truth, or God’s will

B. Turning the other cheek...

1. LAM 3:30 He giveth {his} cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach.

a) In this context the prophet describes the contrite man, the one who is filled with humility and remorse

b) The only way a person could do this is if he was humble and self-controlled

2. Jesus then teaches us how to deal with personal insult--we learn in Him to be so unconcerned with SELF that we forget to be insulted--we humbly give up self to be HIS alone. We let vengeance be His and not ours

IV. MAT 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have {thy} cloak also.

A. (Exod 22:26-7) The cloak was an indispensable part of one’s clothing and was not to be borrowed or taken unless returned by nightfall

1. This means the cloak was far more important to a man than his coat.--Its owner had a legal right to keep it.

2. Jesus is saying if one takes the coat by suit, give him the coat also, which is more important.

B. What do we do about our "rights"?

1. Many people clamor about what "rights" they have, and often are ready to fight for the personal rights they feel they deserve

2. Without denying that such rights exist, and have been set up, in this case by God, yet Jesus teaches us not to stand on these rights or make demands based on them.

3. Many church members are ready to do harm or speak evil of those who have in some way infringed on something they perceive as being "their work" or "their place", etc.

These are the ones who know little about what Jesus teaches here

4. A concept of "rights" often is not based on a sense of justice as much as a sense of self-interest--This is what Jesus condemns

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