“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matthew 5:38-39
How do you respond when you first hear of some sort of evil happening in the world? While some get mad and seek justice, others get really mad and seek revenge. The principle of “an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth” is called the principle of retribution and gave judges the formula for dealing with crime. It’s the same idea as “making the punishment fit the crime.” But in Jesus’ day the Rabbis were teaching that people should carry out this punishment themselves rather than going through the legal system. This led many to seek personal revenge. The problem with this is that when really angry people seek revenge, often they don’t just get even, they get more than even.
I don’t think anyone would argue with the idea that we are living in some very evil days that only seem to be growing darker and darker. When we read the papers or watch the news we see people advocating for the principle of retribution, of looking out for oneself, and of standing up for personal rights, but Jesus taught an entirely different principle. He told us to set aside our rights, and rather than responding with revenge we are to respond with love. If Christians today learned how to respond to evil with love, we would see the world change in a dramatic way.
How can we do that? Well, if you want to know the answer to this very important question you will have to join us Sunday morning as we open Matthew 5:38-42 and learn how to “Leave it to the Lord”.
God bless you all and hope to see you there!