“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:38-42 (NIV)
Continuing on his dissection of the human heart, Jesus addresses two issues in this little lesson. Revenge and Generosity.
Both revenge and the nature to not be generous are very natural and innate in us.
We naturally want to seek revenge. That’s why you want justice when you are wronged. You want someone to pay and in that justice you have revenge.
The law in Deuteronomy granted that revenge to someone who was wronged.
Jesus says that’s what the law says but I say you give up your right for revenge.
This is hard. Even for me, a pretty nice guy! And apparently humble too.
This doesn’t mean that we let people walk on us. Jesus’ words introduce a new kind of love. A love without limits.
This is how Jesus loves. Without limits. Without seeking revenge.
Then Jesus introduces a new kind of generosity. Love is generous. After all, it was God’s love that have Jesus to die for us.
Jesus’ words describes a generosity that would make his followers go beyond what the law required.
According to the law of Moses, every Seventh year all debts were to be forgiven. As you can imagine, people would try to borrow money and things on the sixth year while me does weren’t so apt to loan things out the closer it came to that seventh year.
Jesus says that is not His way. Generosity is a matter of the heart not a matter of timing or convenience. It’s a way of living like Jesus.
My next step:
Love without any limits, not seeking revenge and being generous.
What’s your next step after reading this?