Matthew 5:3842 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 39 But I
say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.
41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you."
Does this passage say? 1.I can’t defend myself from physical attack.2.I am to let someone beat the snot out of me, hurt my family and rob me.3.When someone sues me for my house I am to give them the contents of my house.4.I am to give to people holding up signs on street corners.5.I am to give or loan money to people who are able to work and refuse to work 6.A person is not to suffer a consequence for wrong doing? Jesus is teaching us how to fulfill the law of godly retaliation. The practice of this instruction will enable us to stand firm in very difficult times. Jesus didn’t abolish the Law in Exodus and Leviticus, He came to fulfill it. Matthew 5:38 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' •Matthew5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.•Our text today does not eliminate consequences for sin. Exodus and Leviticus stipulate consequences are to be no greater than the offense. Our text deals with our heart response towards those who sin against us. Jesus takes us past external action to the manner the offender is to be dealt with.•The government will provide punishment for sin, not each individual. Romans 13:1-5
Matthew 5:39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. • Luke 22:36 He said to them, "But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.
• Luke 22:52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs?•Jesus was for using swords for defense against people taking what is ours by stealth and force (see Exodus 22:2)•The slap was an insult. We are not to resist insults, but rather retaliate with a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9)
Matthew5:40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. •
Matthew 5:25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. (note: the accused owed a debt and without settlement would land in prison 5:25-26)•Jesus is teaching us
to retaliate by repaying what we owe and more. We are to retaliate with a blessing, with good.• 1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. •Romans 12:2 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Matthew 5:41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. •The Jewish nation was conquered and occupied by Rome. The Roman law allowed the Roman soldiers to press into service a Jew to carry a load for one mile. •Jesus told the people to retaliate by taking the load two miles.•We
are to retaliate by doing good. • Luke 6:27 "But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do
good to those who hate you,
Matthew 5:42 "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from
you. •Deuteronomy 15:1 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. • Deuteronomy 15:7
"If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother •We retaliate to requests by giving what we have to meet their need.•2 Thessalonians 3:10; 2 Corinthians 8:13-15
What we are to do with what we have heard:
•We are to retaliate to an insult with a blessing.
•We are to retaliate to the one suing us to get debt repayment by repaying more than is owed.
•We are to retaliate to forced labor by doing more than is asked.
•We are to retaliate to requests for money by being generous and discerning of the real need.
Matthew 5:33-37 "Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.' 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from evil.
Can people take you at your word? Jesus instructs us to be people whose words and promises can be trusted. We need to practice this, even if it hurts.
Matthew 5:31-32 "It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery."
God created marriage to be a permanent relationship between one man and one woman. Jesus said so in Matthew 19:4-6 He answered, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." What Jesus created was very good. When what God created is deviated from, destruction and death occurs. Why? Sin brings with it death. Divorce occurs because of sin. It is not only the two married people affected by divorce. Divorce impacts the children and the entire culture.
There is only one other reason for divorce given in the Bible. 1 Corinthians 7:12-13 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace."
What happens if my partner divorces me for some other reason? You are to stay unmarried and seek reconciliation with your partner. You are free to remarry if your partner commits adultery by laying with another person or by remarrying. If your partner was an unbeliever, you are free to remarry if that partner divorces you as that is a form of desertion.
We need to have a high view of marriage and use the resources God has given us to make it work and be robustly good. Are you working on your marriage? Are looking for a godly partner of the opposite sex for a marriage partner with the attitude, "till death do us part"? Marriages will work when both partners put God first in their lives. When one partner only puts God first, that partner can live an abundant life within the marriage, because an abundant life depends on the Lord not our
Matthew 5:27-30 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell."
The Bible teaches us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Sin ruins, destroys and causes death - death of personal happiness, relations, physical death and the second death, eternal torment. Our passage today reveals thoughts are sin (Matthew 5:28). Jesus uses hyperbole to teach us to deal radically with sin (Matthew 5:29-30).
The radical dealing with sin is recognizing our sin, repenting of it and believing the gospel which teaches us that Jesus died on the cross for our sin, rose again on the third day and is Lord of all (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 10:9). When we believe the gospel we receive pardon from the penalty of sin, freedom from the power of sin and the promise of removal from the presence of sin when Jesus returns (Romans 5:10; 6:6-7; 8:23)
We deal radically with sin by living by faith in the Son of God (Galatians 2:20), that is, by attempting to obey the word of God expecting Jesus to fulfill it in our lives. We deal radically with sin by obeying Romans 6:11-14. We count ourselves dead to sin, that is, we know we do not have to respond to sin's prompts to disobey God in thought, word and deed. We refrain from placing ourselves in position to participate in in sin. We actively offer ourselves to God daily to do His will. If we do sin, we confess our sin to God, repent of the sin and begin again to obey God (1 John 1:9; 2 John 6).
How do we deal with mental adultery in this radical way (many have a pornography problem)? We admit pornography is sin, we repent of the sin and believe the gospel. When we believe the gospel, we become a believer in Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1L:13-14) and incomparably great power (Ephesians 1:19-20; 3:20). We confess to God our own powerlessness to overcome our sin of pornography and ask him to help us, to give us the grace to use the power we have to not look at or think of the pornography (Hebrew 4:16). We then attempt to obey the Lord fully expecting Him to help us not sin. We put pornographic thoughts out of our mind as they pop up and think godly thoughts instead. If we dwell on the porn, then we confess our sin, receive His forgiveness and restoration to fellowship and begin to obey by faith again. We rid our house of all porn and stay away from porn sites as much as it depends on us. We do all we can to avoid porn, always trusting the Lord to give us the victory.
Are you dealing radically with the sin in your life? If you do, you will experience a transformed life that is satisfying, gratifying, and completing beyond your wildest dreams (Romans 12:2). Begin now!
Matthew 5:21-26 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny."
Sin ruins relationships. The key lesson in this passage of scripture is "be reconciled with your brother (people in your life)." If we are meeting with God and remember that someone has something against us, we are to stop, make plans to get things right with the person who has something against us, and then continue our time with God. What would cause breaks in relationship? Anger, insults, and demeaning words. These are considered as bad as murder. The penalty for these sins is being isolated in a relational prison cell. Relationships are the most important thing we have - relationship with God and relationships with other people. Gold without relationships is worthless.
The Lord penalizes things that ruin our life - sin. We get out of the relationship prison cell by getting our relationships reconciled. Jesus paid for our sin on the cross. When we owe for sin, we draw on Jesus' account by confessing our sin to the Lord and we receive His forgiveness and restoration to fellowship. We repent of the relationship breaking sin and go seek reconciliation with the person who has something against us. We are free when we do this. However if the other person doesn't reconcile with us, then they go to the relationship prison cell until they are ready to do what is necessary to be reconciled.
Jesus came to save us from our sin by dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin and break the power of sin's hold on us. We receive those benefits when we repent of our sin, and put our trust in Him. Are there unreconciled relationships in your life? Do what Jesus says and get them right - right now.
Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Jesus came to fulfill the Law. He fulfilled the curse of the Law by dying on the cross (Deuteronomy 21:22-23; Galatians 3:13). Jesus fulfilled the sacrifice for sin completely. There is no need for the sacrifices the Law calls for since Jesus died on the cross (Hebrews 7:27). Jesus declared the food laws fulfilled by declaring all food clean (Mark 7:18-19).
The purpose of the moral Law is not fulfilled. The moral elements of the Law reveal sin as utterly sinful (Romans 7:13). The Jewish leaders taught a righteousness that comes by keeping the Law. No person can keep the Law one hundred percent. James tell us in his letter that breaking one part of the Law is the same as breaking all of it (James 2:10). The Law is unable to make us righteous. It can only prove we are guilty. The righteousness that exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees is an internal righteous gained by belief in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 2:8-9). The Pharisees tried for an external righteousness, yet were described by Jesus as inwardly unclean (Matthew 23:27-28).
Only by faith in Christ do we attain an inner righteousness and entrance into the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 5:13-16 "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.
14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your
light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
Notice who we are in Christ. We are the "salt of the earth". Salt is a preservative. Imagine what happens to the food that is not preserved by salt. It rots and stinks. Imagine what happens to the people of the earth that are not are preserved with salt, the culture rots and stinks. When the church is strong in a culture the culture thrives in good ways. When the church conforms to the ways of the world, the culture rots and stinks.
We are the light of the world. Light brings life in the world. Light allows us to see what makes us stumble and avoid those things. Light keeps sin in check. What do people do at night to prevent theft? People install lights. "Deeds of darkness" bring what picture to your mind? When the church is strong, light keeps sin at bay. When the church is week, deeds of darkness are on the increase.
How do we fulfill what we are as believers in Christ. How are we salt and light. We function as salt and light by trusting and obeying what Jesus has taught us in the Bible. We need to daily read the Word of God and live it out in our daily lives. We need to teach it daily to our family. We need to share at every opportunity with the people in our sphere of influence. We need to make sure we send people out from us to plant new churches in dark cultures. Are you salt and light?
Matthew 5:3-12 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Jesus begins His instruction of His disciples by telling them what is theirs as His followers and why. Nine times Jesus tells His followers they are blessed or happy. To understand the reasons why they are blessed we need to return to Jesus' first command to His followers and why He came. Matthew 4:17 tells us Jesus called the people to repent and Matthew 1:21 tells us what they are to repent of - sin. Jesus came to save His people from their sins. Sin is the destructive element in all peoples' lives. Sin is the cause of our destructive attitudes and actions and ultimately leads to death. In the gospel of Mark, we see the second command that Jesus gave after calling people to repent, was believe the gospel. The gospel is the good news of Jesus establishing His rule over sin. He paid the penalty of sin and defeated the power of sin by dying on the cross, rising again from the dead and taking His place as Lord over all creation. When we repent of our sin and believe the gospel we are blessed.
A person who has truly repented of sin is poor in spirit, that is, aware that sin causes them to be and do what is destructive. Repentance means a person has turned from sin and turned to God. A person who recognizes their need for God will take God's help and obey His word. When we are obeying the word of God, we are blessed or happy. A repentant person mourns over sin and will be comforted. A person who understands sin will humbly or meekly follow Jesus and inherit the earth when He comes again. The person aware of sin's emptiness will hunger and thirst for righteousness and be filled. the person who understands that sin is an unwanted enemy will be merciful just as God was merciful with him. The person who follows Jesus is forgiven of sin and is able to have a pure heart and is blessed because a pure heart will see God face to face. A repentant person becomes a peacemaker by dealing with the sin that causes relational hostility and blessed by being a child of God. The repentant who desire to live righteously do so even in the midst of persecution and ill-treatment knowing God's rule in their lives gives them an abundant life and that they will one day be rewarded for living righteously when Jesus returns. Jesus commands the persecuted to rejoice and be glad because their reward is great in heaven.
Do you recognize the destructive of sin in your life? Have you repented of your sin and believed the gospel? If you have, you are blessed for the above reasons Jesus has given us. As we recognize
what we have as a repentant follower of Jesus we experience the blessing that is already ours. Read through 5:3-12 several times asking the Lord to give you understanding.
Matthew 5:1-2 "Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:"
Are you crowding around Jesus to hear His teaching? A command God the Father gave in Matthew 17:5 was, "This is my beloved son, listen to Him." The best thing we can do is make it a number one priority in our life to daily listen to Jesus and then obey what He says by faith. In the next days we shall listen to what Jesus teaches people eager to hear Him.
Matthew 4:23-25 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
Jesus came to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He began His work by proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and affliction among people. What exactly was He proclaiming? Gospel means "good news". The primary meaning of "kingdom" means "the sovereign rule of a king." Jesus came proclaiming the good news that God was establishing His sovereign rule among men. The rule begins now in all who believe Jesus died for their sins on the cross, rose again from the dead on the third day and is Lord of their lives. When a person believes in Jesus' gospel, the Holy Spirit enters and empowers the person to live in victory over sin and Satan. The person receives pardon from all sin, power to live in freedom from sin and the hope of living free from the presence of sin when Jesus returns to usher in a new heavens and earth.
Jesus proved He was the person to save the people from their sins by healing the people from all their sin caused afflictions, diseases, pains and oppression by demons. What Jesus promises us now is every spiritual blessing needed to live an abundant life and enough material blessing to sustain our physical bodies. Jesus promises all who believe in Him every physical blessing when He returns and a place with Him when we die before He returns.
We learn what it means to live under His sovereign rule by reading the Bible. We need to read some each day to learn how we can live an abundant and eternal life now and forever. Begin by systematically reading Genesis 1-12 and then go to Matthew and read systematically through the entire New Testament.