Retaliation – Matthew 5:38-42

Today is Thursday, June 4, 2020, and I am Pastor Kim Alexander and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 63

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See the following website for details: https://christiannewsnow.com/prosecutors-charge-3-more-officers-in-george-floyds-death/?utm_source=SC-meta&utm_medium=email&utm_content=image&utm_campaign=SC-meta-&maropost_id=714588232&mpweb=256-8918747-714588232

Bible Quiz Time:

Q: What was Saul’s punishment for disobeying?
A: God took his kingdom away

Q: Who was the king of Israel anointed by Samuel after Saul?
A: David

Q: What did David work as for his father?
A: A shepherd

Q: When the Philistines came to attack the Israelites, who mocked God and challenged them?
A: Goliath the giant.

Q: When David wanted to fight Goliath, what did Saul try to give him?
A: His armor

Q: What did David take from the brook to fight Goliath with?
A: Five stones

Pause for Prayer:

  • Riots and Protests throughout the U.S.
  • Bob Ahsmuhs
  • Tom Spann
  • Kayetlin Alexander – unspoken
  • Terry Robinson
  • People working through COVID-19
  • Lowana LaBolle
  • Men’s Bible Study start up
  • Yard Sale this weekend
  • Cup of Grace Ministry
  • E.L.P Ministries
  • Heal our nation/guide our president

Today our WORD from the Lord comes from Matthew 5:38-42

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

I want to have a word with you about Retaliation

How does a kingdom citizen live in a violent world? We do what is not expected. We do the complete opposite.

This section of Jesus’ teaching is so relevant when we think of the rioting and protesting taking place around our country today. It is very apparent that this instruction is missing in our land today. People have forgotten to keep their hands to themselves.

   I. An eye for an eye – 5:38

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’

   These words come from several sources:

  • Exodus 21:24
  • Leviticus 24:20
  • Deuteronomy 19:21

   These verses are called the lex talionis, the law of retaliation.

   We sure see retaliation taking place in the streets of America today. At least that is what it is being called – a response to the George Floyd death. Protesters are rioting, looting, burning, and destroying property in the name of retaliation. Their mantra right now is that we are not being heard, and now we will be heard.

   How long will a civilized people allow violence to continue on the streets of our cities? How much bloodshed and destruction are enough? How many innocent people have to die? How many buildings have to burn? How many police officers have to suffer wrongly?

   What started out as a protest for justice has in fact turned to anarchy in our streets. Is there a better way? I say YES! We must listen to the words of Jesus Christ.

   II. Turn the other cheek – 5:39

39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

Would you be able to do this? Would you find it easy to do? I think this is only possible when we are fully sold out to the control of God’s Spirit in our lives.

Think of Jesus’ words in light of the riots and violence taking place across our nation. If you were attacked – what would you do? Would you turn the other cheek? Well, let me say that this is not the situation Jesus had in mind when he made His statement about turning the other cheek. Jesus wasn’t talking about uncontrollable rioters!

Please hear what I am about to say: I believe that we have a right in the sight of God to protect ourselves, our family, our community, and our nation.

Now what does turning the other cheek mean? Notice that Jesus uses the word “slaps” – there is a big difference between being slapped, and having your life threatened. Someone slaps you; you can live through that. I saw this played out at the First Baptist Church in Spokane, Washington back in the 1980’s. We had a deranged man attend our worship service, and at the alter call he came forward. The next thing we saw was him poking the chest of our pastor, and then hitting him in the mouth with his fist. My pastor took the blow and it knocked him back. Soon a football coach from Lewis and Clark High school had the man down and detailed. My pastor did not file charges – that’s turning the other cheek.

Remember there is a difference from a slap and bodily injury.

I have got to tell you that some of the scenes that I have seen on television and social media over the past few days are absolutely horrific. I cannot believe that people can do what they are doing to another human being. It’s absolutely awful.

    III. Give away your tunic – 5:40

40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.

See the word “sue”? Have you ever been sued? Taken to court? According to the Apostle Paul God’s people are not to sue one another. Here Jesus taught that if someone wants to sue you and take away your tunic. That is, the clothes on your back, that you are to give them your cloak also, your otter garment.

You see in reality what we wear is not as important as our witness.

   Remember the teaching is regarding a higher standard than retaliation – an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Kingdom people live to a higher calling in life. Instead of retaliation we are givers. Even if it means losing the shirt on our back.

   IV. Go the extra mile – 5:41

41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

Roman soldiers coming into your village carrying their packs could demand that you carry their packs for one mile. It was the law. You had no choice. Here Jesus teaches that kingdom citizens go an extra mile. We are to carry the pack another mile, and we are to do it cheerfully.

Don’t complain – just bear the load with a smile.

   V. Give and loan – 5:42

42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

If you have it give it, and if you can loan it loan it out. NEVER expect to get back what you give, and anything you loan out expect it to come back broken. That’s murphy’s law.

The whole point in Jesus’ sermon is that God’s people live out a higher law. We live differently than the rest of the world.

Lessons for Learners:

  1. Retaliation is not the answer.
  2. Don’t resist an evil person – turn the other cheek. I believe the idea here is that resistance often makes a person angrier.
  3. If someone wants to sue you, and take your tunic, give him your coast also.
  4. Go the second mile – do what is not expected.
  5. Give to him who asks, and loan if you have it.

Remember, I’m in touch so you be in touch.

And as Dr. Robert Cook from the King’s College used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.