Go the second mile- love your enemies

Matt 5:38-48 Go the second mile- love your enemies

Living the Christ life requires we live and respond a certain way. Its more than just belief. This whole sermon on the mount is a list of dos and donts and hows and whys

We want to get it right because we want to honor God- These are some contentious verses!

  • 1. Don’t be a person bent on retribution
  • READ 38-40
  • This is not a statement on pacifism. This is not a scripture intended to direct the affairs of nations and police departments. This is not a constitutional edict or military plan
  • Remember- Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever. Jesus was directing the war time affairs of Israel bent on holy destruction of adversaries. Bloody destructive wars in the OT all passing through the loving hands of Jesus
  • God clearly does not advocate lawlessness nor he want evil unchecked- he would never tell an abused woman or child to ‘turn the other cheek’. He didn’t let them stone the adulterous lady
  • Observe Luke 3:14 allows military service.  John the Baptist didn’t tell them to quit the service
  • John 18:36 shows that Jesus acknowledges that the sword of violence is used by the world
  • Romans 13:3-4 allows the Government of man to punish evil and force. Paul even calls them a “minister of God”
  • Now we’re not going to take a side step to talk about righteous and unrighteous govt. lets just agree that God allow Government and force to enforce municipal law. Lawlessness never OK
  • separation of Church and state is good. The church does notuse violence, but the state is and a person in the military or police is acting as an agent of the state, not of their church
  • A police officer is just a citizen who has sworn to uphold the law and is afforded certain benefits from that oath and is an agent of the state used to quell evil and enforce the law. (biblical)
  • lets come back to the hyperbolic nature of parts of the sermon on the mount Jesus is speaking
  • Hyperbole- exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.
  • We don’t pluck out our eyes, cut off our hands, we don’t always pray alone, 
  • Jesus is stating what our primary character traits  of life must be-  don’t rush to retaliation
  • Later we’ll talk about loving your enemies- this is the crux- the best response is no response
  • Vengeance is mine saith the Lord- it is mine to avenge. He will take care of it
  • If someone hurts you emotionally, or attacks you relationally, gossips about you, just let it go and the best way to get back at them- is give them the other side of your cheek to show them how disinterested you are in fighting them- Let God take care of you- 
  • IN a world that everyone wants to assert their dominance, give it up- let them win. 
  • These times were an honor-shame society-someone would gain or lose in every interaction Common for a person who was of a higher status to backhand a person as an insult- 
  • Jesus is preparing his followers– if they do this- show them how much you don’t care about your social standing in this world- let them smack you on the other check as well- hopefully those around you will see the pointless parts of this society where people work so hard to maintain their image. Just allow yourself to be embarrassed.
  •  (basketball game- just sit down- wouldn’t let him beat my daughter encourage her to take it)
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
  • 1 Peter 3:9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
  • 1 peter 2:20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.
  • Augustine- War should we waged without love of violence, cruelty, or enmity.
  • There’s no love of violence. Or love of war. Augustine claimed that if you can justify any sort of violence for Good- than you must agree that all violence is not inherently evil
  • He said to hold a man against his will to cut off his gangreneous leg to save his life is violent- but it saves him
  • I would never stand and see someone receiving violence and shout out “turn the other cheek” and I don’t think Jesus would either- 
  • He said that anyone who hurt children should have a milstone attached to their neck and drowned
  • The NT advocates a measure of violence as a means to end suffering eventually. The violence of the Lord will utterly destroy his enemies-
  • Rev 19:17-21 READ– Violence will usher in the end of all things. If this verse is to be taken literally- then Jesus himself would not contradict himself, and allow evil to reign and ‘turn the other cheek’ to the Devil in revelation and allow demons to reign oever all the earth for eternity
  • Alas- this will not be the case. Force. Violence and bloodshed will be God’s hold act upon the evildoer
  • Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
  • Therefore- turning the other cheek is a hyperbolic challenge to people in their daily lives in regards to social embarrassments- not a blanket response for pacifism and accepting abuse

2. Do more than is expected of you

  • 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
  • I never want to share a story or an anecdote that isn’t culturally or historically accurate, but sometimes, its so prevalent that its hard to verify. 
  • Here’s what is true about ancient rome- They were an overwhelming military and government that had total control of the populace and could do whatever they wanted to the jews
  • Matt 27, Luke 23, and Mark 15 romans demand Simon of cyrene to carry the cross of Jesus- tha
  • The anecdote is that during bible times, if a roman soldier compelled a jew to carry his pack for a mile, he was obliged to do so or be punished. 
  • Jesus uses this example as an opportunity for jews to show their oppressors that they wont be broken by their oppression- They “go the extra mile” 
  • How they should use that mile, or what they do on that mile is missing, but I’m guessing it would be a great time to share the truth about Jesus as savior
  • Here’s the heart behind “go the extra mile” and “give to him who asks” 
  • People who follow Jesus cannot be people who do the bare minimum. Can’t be us
  • We must be generous. It must be who we are. Give away stuff of value you could sell
  • Do more- My wife- borrow car- fill it up and usually will detail it- (wanna borrow mine)
  • Hebrews 13:16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
  • If you have a closed fist with your time, money, stuff or anything, you don’t have the heart of God- Pay someones meal, a bill, a tuition. Someone bought my daughters braces. We gave cars
  • We would have nothing, or be nothing without the Lord on our side. We just wouldn’t
  • There are many scriptures that talk about enerosity
  • Proverbs 19:17 He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given.
  • Do you no think that the Lord of the universe doesn’t know who has done what and who will be recompensed? He knows! The generous are always blessed! The blessings tell the testimony! 
  • Here’s what I notice- the stingy always harbor envy and resentment upon the blessed because they assume that they are hoarding goods as is in their dirty hearts and assume the same of others- The truth is generosity always manifests itself in blessings- you cant stop it. 
  • 1 Tim 6 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share” so riches were never intended to be blessing to be hoarded but to be shared
  • It must be noted- this is an admonition for Christian people, not a requirement of government, states or nations. Nations have helped the poor and used as political tools since roman times
  • The romans used free wheat as a political promise to be elected and guaranteed free bread
  • (It should be noted that in 2000 years government still cant eradicate poverty)
  • This isn’t to say governments cant and shouldn’t be generous- but I wholly reject governments using scripture as justification for entitlement fundings whilst denying the rest of scripture
  • The Bible clearly demands that the people of the faith will be generous with its own people and others
  • It’s a requirement of the Church and the individuals in it. Its not just the churches responsibility- it’s the individual responsibility as well. Everyone doesn’t have to know what you are doing
  • Matthew 6:3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
  • But the scriptures says
  • 1 john 3:17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
  • James 2:15-16 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
  • How is that applied in your life? If you see a need from a brother or sister in the faith and you have the means to help, by all means help out. Give them help, money, food etc.
  • let me say this- Don’t go creating opportunities for others to continually help you because you constantly mismanage your life. Get a job. Get out of debt. Get rid of the costly addictions of cigarettes and eating out. Act your wage. Put money in savings. Progress in your career. 
  • We help people here- we don’t enable people. Some people don’t need an handout they need a kick in the rear.  But no one who is a regular tithing attending member of this church will go hungry on our watch- you will not be homeless. But I’m not funding your laziness and drug habit. Nothing in the Bible advocates that. We go through your finances and trim the fat
  • Now there’s two types of poor- the I did it to myself poor and the I need some help poor
  • Deuteronomy 15:7-8 READ
  • Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives.
  • Two parts– righteous shows mercy- you’re wicked if you borrow and not repay- just a taker

3. Love people

  • The Jewish people at the time justified retribution and limited love based on how others treated them, but Jesus upends this and says- love your enemies, those who curse you, hate you, pray for them. Don’t just love those who love you
  • 43-48 READ
  • He likens those who only love those who love them as tax collectors- Our love and generosity cannot be limited to those in the faith whom we love and love us. We have to love the unlovable
  • Love and kindness should be such a hallmark of who we are, but often times we are known as demanding caustic miscreants instead of loving people. 
  • Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
  • When someone does you wrong- don’t get all bent out of shape about it- bless em! 
  • We are to pray for our enemies- and love on them- hoping good things for them- not pain
  • 1 Peter 3:9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
  • It all comes back to us- it will benefit us for a blessing- you were called to this! 
  • Romans 12:20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
  • For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” (proverbs 25:21-22 is the same scripture
  • 1 Corinthians 4:12-13 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 being defamed, we [a]entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.
  • I like the NIV- 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world
  • We’re not that special- not think of ourselves more highly, consider others better, LOVE
  • Eph 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
  • Psalm 145:9 The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.
  • Then we should be good to all!
  • Spouse, kids, family, church, workers in a store, delivery personnel, teachers, ANYONE
  • We should greet everyone- even those who have no value to us
  • Take the time to give people your TIME
  • It sometimes too obvious when people only make connections and relationships with people who can do something for them. Who do you have in your life that can do nothing for you but you can do something for them? Every relationship isn’t a business connection. Every interaction isn’t a means to bring progress in your life. That’s what tax collectors do. 
  • People say- what if I’m good to people and they aren’t good to me- 
  • 1 Peter 3:17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
  • Just be a loving person- be a giving person. 
  • Turn the other cheek- do more than is expected. Love people. 

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