Summary: Jesus gives us instructions on how to act in circumstances that we all face in life .
Intro. One winter day not so long ago 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!
. sometimes revenge is just sweet isn’t it?
. As we continue our journey through the sermon on the mount, our passage today addresses revenge and how we should react personally to people when they attack us.
. Our scripture also shows how to live in grace by showing God’s grace to others.
. John Macarthur in his commentary on Matthew 5:38-42 writes that “probably no part of the sermon on the mount has been so misinterpreted and misapplied as 5:38-42. It has been interpreted to mean that Christians are to be sanctimonious doormats. It has been used to promote pacifism, conscientious objection to military service, lawlessness, anarchy and a host of other positions that it does not support.”
. Lets read our scripture: Mt.5:38-42: You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’39But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.40If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.41If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.42Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.
.If you just read this literally it sounds like Jesus is saying that we should just lie down and die. We should just take whatever is dished out and like it.
. We just need to be a door mat for people to abuse.
. This is why this passage has been misinterpreted and misapplied so many times.
. What Jesus is doing here is teaching in what was a common custom at the time called hyperbole.
. Wikipedia says that Hyperbole is a method of communicating or teaching using exaggerations to create emphasis or effect.
. In other words it is an exaggeration to prove a point.
. When Jesus talks about gouging out our eyes or cutting our hands of or leaving our families or hating our father and mother He is using hyperbole to make a point.
. That’s what he is doing here in vs 38-42.
. Again we see Jesus addressing this issue because the Pharisee’s and Sadducees had gotten everything all askew in how they were supposed to treat people.
. In his sermon there on the side of the mountain, much of what Jesus was teaching was brought about because the Jewish people had gotten the letter of the law but they had missed the spirit of the law.
. Today’s scripture is no different.
. They had taken what was the responsibilities of the judges and were taking pride in meshing out punishment and revenge individually.
. There is a nature that is within all of us that wants to lash out when we have been insulted or humiliated isn’t there.
. That’s what Jesus is talking about here in verse 39: ’39But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.