Refuse to retaliate

Topics: do not retaliate, refuse to retaliate

I. Retaliation is for God & judicial law

* Jesus affirms the OT prescription for Israel's judicial system!

  1. "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'" (Matthew 5:38).
  2. "You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord" (Leviticus 19:17, 18).

II. Retaliation is NOT for personal use

A. Jesus clarifies the Law's purpose!

  1. "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person" (Matthew 5:39a).
  2. I gave My back to those who strike Me, and My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting. For the Lord God helps Me, therefore, I am not disgraced; therefore, I have set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed (Isaiah 50:6, 7; see 1 Peter 2:21-23).
  3. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. "But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17-21).

B. Jesus correlates this principle to life!

  1. "But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also" (Matthew 5:39b).
  2. "If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also" (Matthew 5:40).
  3. "Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two" (Matthew 5:41).
  4. "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you" (Matthew 5:42).

Sermon by Pastor Rod Akins February 27th, 2022