Have you ever read Matthew chapter 5? I’m talking about reading past the Beatitudes (which are no less awesome and amazing) and starting at verse 21.
Jesus goes into the “You have heard it said, but I say” section that is truly mind blowing.
He is basically saying that we have been home-schooled in the wrong home. We think with the mind of the world, the enemy, and then He proceeds to shred every bit of human wisdom and reasoning, replacing it with truth.
Let me back up a bit. Proverbs 14:12 says:
There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
The way that seems right to a man is human wisdom, human reasoning, and human logic. Three things that desperately attempt to undermine the truth of God’s Word, and lead us down the path of destruction.
Think about it. When we hear a story of two people torturing and beating a 3 year old boy to death, we immediately get angry. There’s no way around it. That is a heart-breaking story full of loss and pain that most of us can’t even fathom. I read so many comments on Facebook from people, who say they are Christians, talking about what they thought would be a fair punishment. Death penalty. They need to be tortured themselves. Someone should forget the judicial system and kill them both. Things like that.
It breaks my heart.
Those comments sound normal. Even to other Christians, they sound like valid suggestions, especially the death penalty idea.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 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.
That’s completely opposite of how we want to react. Those people deserve to be punished.
If we want what we deserve, we can all go to Hell.
We deserve eternity in the fiery pit. If Jesus thought like we do, He would have never died on the Cross.
Human reasoning would have said “But wait, I haven’t done anything wrong. I did nothing but help these people. I healed them. I fed them. I spent time with them when no one else would. You know what, I don’t deserve to be treated this way. Look, Father. I’m done with these people. They don’t deserve my innocent blood. They have completely rejected me in every way possible. Wait, what are they yelling out? Are they saying Barabbas? Barabbas??? Are you serious??? You have GOT to be kidding me! Come on! I’m done. I’m outta here. Beam me back up.”
Can you imagine those words not only coming out of the mouth of Jesus, but even running thorough His mind?
Of course not. It sounds absurd.
Another comparison can be found in John 20:16-18, which says:
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.
Jesus is alive. Mary sees Him, and didn’t even know who He was at first. Look very carefully at what He says. “Go to My brethren.”
He could have said “Go tell those knuckle heads, who are all in hiding, that you have seen me, and where I’m going now.”
The disciples deserted Him, betrayed Him, and didn’t believe Him, yet He still referred to them as His brothers. To me, that is a big deal.
How do we act towards people who do those very same things to us?
It’s easy to love those who love us right back. The key to living like Jesus is to also love our enemies.
No matter what situation or circumstances we find ourselves in, let’s follow the letters in red. We can’t go wrong with those.