Today’s passage: Matthew 5:38-48
- The principle of eye-for-eye and tooth-for-tooth from the Law (Exodus 21 & Leviticus 24) was intended to put a limit on punishment to ensure appropriate justice. It was not meant to be a license for vengeance.
- A slap in the face was a showing of great dishonor. Not meant to injure, but to demean.
- People could sue and literally be rewarded clothing in the courts at that time if the person being sued did not have other means to pay.
- Roman soldiers were allowed by law to require bystanders to carry their packs for a mile.
- When people have a genuine need, we are told to not have a selfish view of possessions.
- All of these requirements are to be honored whether we like the other person or not.
Questions to consider:
- What is the motive of retaliation? How does being in Christ alleviate that felt need?
- Does the Old Testament really say, “Love your neighbor, hate your enemy”? What had to happen for that saying to be well known among the people?
- Why is it easy to do good to those who are good to us and hard to do good to those who aren’t good to us?
- How are we being like Jesus when we do good for those who do harm to us? What did He do? Were we the ones doing good for him or were we His enemies? (Look up Romans 5:8)