On Sundays 14th and 21st May, our sermons will deal with two of the major themes that run through Matthew 5:17-48. As we’re tackling this large section on just two sermons, we won’t deal in detail with every paragraph. Therefore, to attempt to cover at least some of the gaps, there are/will be give short blog posts that will make a few comments on each passage and provide some questions for application. This is the fourth post.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. (Matt. 5:38-42 NIV)

The OT standard for justice (Exodus 21:24) was that if someone wronged you, the recompense would be appropriate. If you lost and eye – they lose and eye etc.

Not that Christ has come, the goal posts are moved and the pitch is completely changed. It is now no longer about getting what is deserved, or getting even. Now the emphasis is on grace and mercy.

This is deeply rooted in the gospel. Jesus followers are those who have been forgiven and accepted despite the hurt and damaged caused by their sin. This is the pattern they are expected to follow in their relationships with others – even their enemies (cf. Matthew 6:14-15).

  • What is your first response when someone wrongs you? Are your quick to name and point out their wrongdoing? Or do you exhibit the same grace and forgiveness that Jesus extended to you?
  • How does following Jesus statement make for distinctive disciples? How are vv38042 different from the world’s way of doing things?