But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. Matthew 5:39 NABRE
Jesus is teaching His disciples about retaliation, if someone attacks or offends you, pause, then accept more of the same. The law teaches an eye for an eye but He wants His disciples to offer no resistance to someone who is evil. Jesus doesn’t want disciples who just follow the law He wants disciples who love. Jesus challenges disciples to love those who attack, those who press their own agenda, those who are evil. Watchman Nee, a Chinese church leader and Christian teacher tells the story of a Christian farmer who every night filled his rice paddy with water only to come out in the morning to see his field has been drained and empty of water. The Christian notices his neighbor’s rice paddy is filled though it was empty the night before. Each night the Christian fills his rice paddy and each morning it is empty. Eventually the Christian discovers his neighbor draining the filled rice paddy and directing the water flow down to his own rice paddy. Once he made this discovery the Christian decided to first fills his neighbor’s rice paddy with water and then fill his own.
One Sunday the water stealing neighbor comes to church and everyone is surprised, especially his Christian neighbor. Asking after the service why he is there the neighbor answers, if a Christian upon discovering I have stolen His water decides to fill my rice paddy and then his own, I want to learn what he has discovered following Jesus. Observing the law is important, but loving is the true message Jesus wants us to live. Acting in love is the only measure of what it means to be a Christian.
How do you act in love? Do you find yourself wanting to retaliate?Observing the law is important, but loving is the true message Jesus wants us to live. Acting in love is the only measure of what it means to be a Christian. Click To Tweet
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