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Summary: Jesus once again raises the standard, I want revenge, but Jesus says,

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GETTING WHAT YOU DESERVE

MATTHEW 5;38-42

38"You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’£ 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

INTRO; THOUGHT ON VISION;

"IF YOU KNEW THAT YOU COULD NOT FAIL (AND THAT YOU HAD THE REST OF

YOUR LIFE TO DO IT) . WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR THE GLORY OF GOD, AND THE

GOOD OF HIS KINGDOM? AS YOU CONTEMPLATE YOUR ANSWER, CONSIDER THIS; ASK GOD FOR THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF HIGH EXPECTATIONS. WHAT LIMITATIONS ARE YOU PLACING ON YOURSELF? WHAT LIMITATIONS ARE YOU PLACING ON GOD, IN YOUR PERSONAL SPIRITUAL LIFE? DECIDE TODAY, TO NO LONGER LIMIT YOURSELF AND STEP OUT FOR GOD.

JESUS ONCE AGAIN OPENS WITH THE COMPARISON OF THE OLD TO THE NEW. YOU HAVE HEARD IT SAID, "EYE FOR EYE TOOTH FOR TOOTH" BUT I TELL YOU DON’T RESIST THE EVIL PERSON." BUT JESUS, I WANT TO GET EM BACK.

"IF HE STRIKES THE RIGHT, TURN THE LEFT AS WELL." BUT JESUS, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND, THOSE GUYS BROKE INTO MY HOUSE, THEY STOLE MY STUFF, THE POLICE WILL NEVER CATCH THEM, I WANT A POUND OF FLESH. I WANT REVENGE, THEY DESERVE IT. BUT JESUS SAYS, "DO NOT RESIST". UNDERSTAND THIS, SLAPPING A PERSONS FACE WAS A GREAT INSULT, MORE INSULTING THAN GETTING HIT BY THE FIST. IT WAS DEGRADING.

"AGAIN, IF SOMEONE SUES FOR YOUR COAT GIVE THEM YOUR OVER COAT AS WELL." THE CLOAK WAS A VALUABLE PIECE OF CLOTHING, IT WAS NOT JUST A COAT, IT ALSO SERVED AS A BLANKET TO KEEP YOU WARM AT NITE. WHAT JESUS IS SAYING IS, MATERIALS POSSESSIONS ARE NOT WHATS IMPORTANT.

"IF SOMEONE ORDERS YOU TO GO ONE MILE, GO TWO MILES". A ROMAN SOLDIER HAD THE RIGHT TO ORDER A CITIZEN TO CARRY HIS BACK PACK. HE COULD ONLY FORCE YOU TO CARRY IT ONE MILE, THIS IS WHAT WOULD HAPPEN, YOU WOULD PICK IT UP, GRUMBLE AND COMPLAIN THE ENTIRE MILE, COUNTING EACH STEP, GET TO THE END OF THE MILE AND YOU WOULD THROW HIS BAG DOWN RAISING DIRT AND DUST. NOW JESUS IS SAYING, CARRY HIS BAG, GO THE MILE, THE SOLDIER IS EXPECTING HIS BAG TO BE THROWN DOWN, HE KNOWS THE GAME, INSTEAD, YOU GO THE EXTRA MILE. NO GRUMBLING, NO COMPLAINING, JUST DOING IT. THEN AT THE END YOU SIMPLY PLACE IT ON THE GROUND. WHO IS THE BETTER PERSON?

LET ME REMIND YOU OF A STORY THAT WILL HELP US FOCUS ON THE TEXT.

IN LA, A BLACK MAN WAS CHASED IN A HIGH SPEED CHASE. WHEN HE WAS FINALLY APPREHENDED, SEVERAL POLICE CARS WERE ON THE SCENE. HE INITIALLY RAN AWAY. ONE OF THE WHITE POLICE OFFICERS BEGAN TO HIT HIM WITH A FLASHLIGHT. THIS WAS ALL CAUGHT ON VIDEOTAPE. WE QUICKLY RECALL THE NAME RODNEY KING, AND ARE REMINDED OF THE RIOTS THAT BROKE OUT AFTER HIS ARREST. SOME PEOPLE SAY, "SERVES HIM RIGHT, HE GOT WHAT HE DESERVES". WE ARE REMINDED THAT IN IRAQ, THERE ARE STORIES OF PRISONER ABUSE, AND AGAIN SOME SAY, "SERVES THEM RIGHT, THEY GOT WHAT THEY DESERVE".

WHEN WE OPEN OUR TEXT, WE WILL SEE THAT JESUS DOS NOT NECESSARILY SAY, "SERVES THEM RIGHT". OUR ATTITUDE IS; HATE THE SIN- LOVE THE SINNER. GOD LOVES US SO MUCH, THAT HE GAVE THE GREATEST GIFT, IN ORDER THAT WE COULD HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. THERE IS NO SIN THAT IS SO GREAT, THAT GOD CANNOT FORGIVE. FOLLOW WITH ME FOR A MOMENT;

GOD IS A LOVING GOD –> HOWEVER,

GOD IS ALSO A MERCIFUL GOD –> HOWEVER

GOD IS JUST. SO, HOW DO WE RESPOND TO SITUATIONS LIKE LA AND IRAQ?

DO WE SAY, THEY HAVE SUFFERED ENOUGH, SLAP WRIST.

NO! THERE MUST BE A BLENDING OF JUSTICE AND MERCY.

VS 43 SAYS, "YOU HAVE HEARD THAT IT WAS SAID," ONCE AGAIN, THIS COMPARISON OF OLD AND NEW. "LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, HATE YOUR ENEMY"

WE ARE REMINDED THAT IN DEUT. 23;6 GOD SAYS, "DO NOT SEEK PEACE OR GOOD RELATIONS WITH THEM AS LONG AS YOU LIVE." THEY ARE NUMEROUS OTHER OT REFERENCES TO GOD TELLING ISRAEL TO UTTERLY DESTROY A NATION. IN SOME INSTANCES, SODOM AND GOMORRAH, GOD HIMSELF DESTROYED THE CITIES. AS YOU THINK ABOUT THESE, WE MUST DO SO IN CONTEXT. DEUT 23;6 DEALS WITH A SPECIFIC PEOPLE WHO WARRED WITH ISRAEL, THEY WERE THE ENEMY OF GOD. THE OTHER CASES DEAL WITH ISSUES OF IMMORALITY. GOD DID NOT WANT HIS PEOPLE TO ADOPT WORSHIP OF FALSE GODS.

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