Summary: Jesus teaches us how to deal with revenge.
Matthew 5:38-48 A Radical thought on Revenge
1. This is How we look at revenge? We think its Love, but is it the Kind of love Jesus shows?
• We desire to see the evil doer put down because he drew first blood Sylvester Salon
• Who can forget Carrie (1976), based on the Stephen King novel, in which a bullied high school girl gets her revenge?
• Common way to respond to the wrong doer is we want him to bleed
• Roots Tobi runs away several times but he is always caught Tobi is caught taken to the whipping post chained down the slave keeper whips him with the whip telling him to say his name is Tobia Kunta Kinte he keeps responding. Kunta runs after he
• When we watch the movies we always want the evildoer put down. we see the person save himself, maybe they save their spouse, or save their children, maybe save their friends. Not only do we want the good guys saved but we want the evil doer to go down.
2. Jesus issues a radical Teaching about revenge it is "LOVE
• Jesus rejected any kind of retaliatory violence "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye
and a tooth for a tooth,'" says Jesus, pointing to the law of Moses,.
• Jesus wanted his disciples to reject revenge but he accepts the idea of redemption for both
the offended and the offender.
• “Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also
the second mile” (Matthew 5:38-
3. Jesus teaches us that Love does not retaliate. Talk about difficult
• “If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also,” says Jesus — demonstrate that you
are a follower of the Prince of Peace (v. 39).
• “[I]f anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well” — show the world that
you find your security in God, not in material possessions (v. 40).
• “[I]f anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile” — reveal your generosity by
offering them more than they are demanding of you (v. 41).
• “Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you” —
make a point of helping others as the Lord has helped you (v. 42).
• Love doesn’t retaliate; instead, it seeks the welfare of the other person, even if that person is an evildoer. By responding with nonviolence, generosity and helpfulness, we
stand a chance of leading someone closer to God’s kingdom.
Of course, such a Christ like response is difficult. It takes courage and deep determination. In Uganda, Angelina Atyam’s daughter was abducted in 1996. According to Divinity magazine (Winter 2010), rebel troops took her and 29 other girls from a Catholic boarding school. Angelina met weekly with the parents of the other girls to pray for their daughters’ release.
“I was confused, bitter and very deep in my heart I was thinking, ‘How do I avenge this?’” says Angelina. “Yet we continued to pray and call upon the [rebels] to release our children, protect them, bring them home and make peace again.”
One day, a priest was leading the group of parents in the Lord’s Prayer. When they got to the words “Forgive us our sins,” the parents suddenly stopped. They couldn’t say “as we forgive those who sin against us.” Realizing they were asking for the forgiveness of their sins yet were unable to forgive the rebels for stealing their children, the parents filed silently out of the church. It was simply too difficult. They couldn’t be Christ like enough to forgive the rebels’ sins.
The parents went home and began to examine themselves. And something amazing happened: By the next meeting, they started to pray to forgive the rebels. They also began sharing their story of forgiveness with others and became leaders in a national movement to secure the release of abducted children. After seven years of captivity, Angelina and her daughter were reunited.
4. Jesus teaches us to Love Because God Loves
• “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy,’” says Jesus. “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (vv. 43-45). He is challenging us to love our enemies not because they are wonderful people who deserve to be loved but because they are children of God — we are to love them because God loves them.