Bible Study Lessons — Matthew 5:38-42
“So angry I could ..” Has this thought ever entered your mind? This is the famous passage where Jesus tells His followers to “turn the other cheek“.
Of course, we’ve all felt anger toward another person but most times we don’t act out our feelings. But what did Jesus say about retaliation and what can we learn from His teachings?
When angered, the phrase from the Bible; “Eye for an eye” is used frequently.
This lesson from Matthew’s writings portrays what Jesus says about anger and retaliation.
What Jesus Says about Retaliation
“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.” – Matthew 5:38-42 NASB
Question: What Did Jesus Say about Retaliation?
Is Jesus saying that Christians should be weak people to be taken advantage of at every turn?
Not at all. He is simply stating facts about our nature as human beings.
When we are wronged, we become angry. Often our first reaction is to get even. Instead Jesus said we should do good to those who wrong us – He did!
What Jesus Did
A unique bracelet worn by many younger Christians in the ’90s read;
“WWJD” or “What would Jesus Do?“.
Should we still ask that question? What would Jesus do in these situations?
The Scripture tells us very plainly what Jesus did when He was wronged .. He forgave!
What Do We Do?
If we are to be followers of Christ, He has set forth specific instructions for us to follow. These instructions do not include getting in the last word or hating those who have wronged us.
Go the Extra Mile
Do you know where this common phrase came from? It’s right here in Matthew. What did Jesus mean when He said: “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.“?
In the day of Jesus, Israel was under Roman rule. And Roman only had two rules — obey our rules or die.
If a Roman soldier asked a Jew to carry their armor or anything else they had, the Jew had to carry it for one mile. Then the soldier would simply find another Jew for the next mile.
Jesus said to carry the bags or armor for two miles when told to carry one. Hence the statement; “go the extra mile”. He asked His people to do more than expected out of kindness, just as He did for us.
Natural or Supernatural?
Our desire should not be to keep score, but to love and forgive just as Christ did. As humans, it is not natural for us to behave this way — it is supernatural.
Only God can give us the strength to love as He commands.
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”1936034891″ locale=”US” src=”http://www.makingchristknown.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/41Kp7R5gPSL.SL1601.jpg” tag=”bobpardphot-20″ width=”119″]Forgiveness
Instead of planning vengeance, pray for those who hurt you. Your life will be richer for it and the person who harmed you might see a different side to society – and you.
Love in Christ
If you would like to know more about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take just a quick moment to read John 3:16.
Read Today’s Verses Here:
New American Standard Bible
New King James Version