Best of BAM: Matthew Chapter 5: Eye for an Eye

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On today’s Bible Answer Man broadcast, Hank returns to his series on the Gospel of Matthew, picking back up where he left off in chapter 5. In verse 38 we see Jesus teaching against the saying, “eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” Instead, He instructs us to 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” (Matthew 5:39-40 NIV). This brings up the question, are we as Christians not only to capitulate but to give even more than a court judgment requires? Well, Hank thinks not. Rather, it seems to Hank that the point that our Lord is driving at is that of mastery. Mastery over the passions that bind us—the passions of wealth and of comfort. Our Lord is not instructing us to forego wisdom or prudence or to apply the law of love with reckless abandon. Rather, the goal is for us to exemplify the kind of love that considers others more highly than we consider ourselves. Starting in verse 43, Jesus teaches that we are to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44 NIV). Loving those that love us is not all that difficult. To love those that abuse you makes you, as Moses put it, “blameless before the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 18:13 NIV).

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