Saturday, December 18, 2010

Love Is The Fulfillment Of The Law


Matthew 5: 38-42

Story & Lessons

“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” was given to ensure that the punishment was appropriate to the crime.

But Jesus warns us that we must not seek personal revenge when we are wronged.

This does not mean that when we are the victims of crime, we should not press charges against the criminal.

Evil-doers must be punished in the civil courts. When criminals are not adequately punished, law and order breaks down and criminals are left free to inflict their evil deeds on more victims.

To be slapped on the cheek was a great insult which could be punished by a very heavy fine.

But Jesus is not telling us to invite further suffering, but to respond to insults by being gracious.

Jesus said that we should not insist on our rights – “let him take your cloak also”.

The Jews hated the Roman practice which compelled them to carry a soldier’s load for a mile.

Jesus said that his followers should go the second mile with the load.

Reflection...

There is much talk today of standing on our rights.

Jesus calls us to self-denial in our reaction to those who have wronged us.

Did you turn the other cheek the last time you were wronged?

The Lord Jesus goes on to tell us to give to him who asks us and to freely lend our possessions.

This does not mean that we should encourage those who are lazy but that we must help those in genuine need.


2 comments:

  1. Hi,
    I liked your writings.But the topic you have chosen have led me to many questions. As you said criminals should be punished that means if my brother does crime against me like cutting my hands off then I should also cut his hand off.When does forgiveness comes in this kind of situations.
    Second in many eastern contries like saudi arabia. Thieves are cut off thier hands and rapists are hung in front of all.Is this right kind of judgement or punishment?In old testament God said "venegance is mine" what does that mean then.I will be very gratful if you can answer these questions.Thank you

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  2. God does say, "Vengeance is mine". But God also sets up governments to deal with His people. As an individual, I am not allowed to take vengeance. But I am allowed to press charges against the criminal in the civil court (No, I can't cut my brother's hand off). Now, every government must rule the country according to the Law of God. While saying that, I must say I never agree to the punishments done in some of the eastern nations; it is not according to what the Lord Jesus had said in the NT. Nevertheless, I believe these wrong doings will be dealt with in the Judgment Day. Remember: God does say, "Vengeance is mine". They will not be left unpunished! I hope this helps.

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