Saturday, February 6, 2016

how do we live this out?

Matthew 5

38 "You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'

39 But I say, do not resist an evil person!

If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.

40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.

41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.

42 Give to those who ask, and don't turn away from those who want to borrow.

43 "You have heard the law that says, 'Love your neighbor' and hate your enemy.

44 But I say, love your enemies!

Pray for those who persecute you!

45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.

For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good,

and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?

Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.

47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?

Even pagans do that.

48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

I wonder what our world would be like if we who claim to follow Jesus lived like this.

Before you think there's no way, consider the world Jesus lived in at the time.

Life was pretty brutal.

Rome dominated the western world – they were not known for their compassion or mercy.

Israel sat on the border of the farthest eastern reach of the Roman empire – there were some pretty nasty non-Roman people lurking nearby.

And let's remember that Jesus is God – iow, He knows everything.

He knew all of the ramifications those above words in that passage had on the time frame & the world in which He was living.

He also knew that you & I would be reading it today in our time frame & world of 2016.

So how do we live this out in today's world?

I frankly don't know.

How do we live it out with entities like ISIS, Al Quaida, North Korea, El Shabaab, & lone wolves who have ben radicalized by them are loose in the world?

What do we do about the difficult & crazy people who surround us each day?

How are we to be the kind of person Jesus clearly says we should be in this passage?

How are we to do what He definitely says we should do?

Now don't be quick to answer this question.

Think about it.

How do we live up to these words of Jesus?

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