Matt 5:38-48 -- Living Generously and Graciously Toward Others


"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 an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you." 

"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?" 

"Therefore you are to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect."


"You have heard it said in Exodus 21:24, 'AN EYE FOR AN EYE AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.' But I say to you, Do not resist the evil man who injures you; but if anyone strikes you on the right jaw or cheek, turn to him the other one too. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your undershirt, let him have your coat also. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who keeps on begging from you, and do not turn away from him who would borrow at interest from you (Deut. 15:8)." 

"You have heard it said in Leviticus 19:18, 'YOU WILL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR,' and has been interpreted from Psalm 139:21,22 to 'Hate your enemies," but that is not it at all, we are to love our enemies because they are our neighbors too. Pray for those who give you a hard time or treat you unfairly (Proverbs 25:21). This shows that you are child of God and acting in a way that reflects who you were meant to be in His eyes; in His image. He faithfully gives His best to everyone (even those who reject Him) causing the sun to always rise and the rain to fall on both evil and good people. For if you only love those who love you, what kind of reward is that. That is easy to do! Anybody can do that." 

(Verse 48 is my paraphrase mixed with The Message): 

"In other word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You are citizens in God's kingdom now. Now live like you are! Live into your God-created identity as that citizen. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you." 


Pray for the person from my Prayer Challenge study from yesterday. I have no anger or resentment toward her, (and I should have mentioned that in the freewrite!). I just feel like she has been brought to my mind so that I can pray. I always joke that you better not cross me because that means you get prayed for! :) Commence prayer NOW (before I Skype with Elizabeth for today!)!


I needed more background on the "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" principle from Leviticus:
This principle has been severely criticized by some as being “barbaric,” but it’s just the opposite. In an age when the legal system was developing, this law made sure that the punishment meted out by the judges was equal to the seriousness and severity of the crime, not more and not less. If the guilty aggressor blinded his enemy’s eye, then his own eye was blinded. Nothing could be fairer. If you broke your enemy’s finger and the court ordered you to be blinded, that wouldn’t be fair at all, because the sentence must fit the crime. The only time this principle was not enforced was when a master injured a slave, and the slave’s compensation was his or her freedom (vv. 26–27).When Jesus prohibited His disciples from retaliating against those who hurt them (Matt. 5:38–44; 1 Peter 2:19–21), He was dealing with personal revenge (“I’ll get even with you!”) and encouraging personal forgiveness. He wasn’t criticizing Moses or interfering with the legal system, because He came to fulfill the Law and not to destroy it (Matt. 5:17–20). As believers, we have the privilege of waiving our “legal rights” to the glory of God and not demanding compensation (1 Cor. 6:1–8). However, a judge has to see that justice is done and the law is respected.

Wiersbe, W. W. (1998). Be delivered. “Be” Commentary Series (120). Colorado Springs, CO: Chariot Victor Pub.
Process of learning to tell this story from today:

Read it once all the way through
Listened to it twice
Read it in another version

Typed it out word for word (or you can write it)
Rewrote it in my own words
Praying through it to listen for God's "I WILL" for this passage.
Wrote an "I WILL" statement
Carried out the "I WILL" (and will continue to through the week)

Tomorrow, I will "story board" it.
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