Jesus lived in some very tough times. In one way or another we struggle through tough times. In the coming days we are going to talk about a “THIRD WAY” of dealing with the pressures of this world. The first way is passivity, the second is retaliation–the THIRD way is with the wisdom of Jesus….
Matthew 5:38-42 (TNIV)
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
For weeks now we have been talking about how the “truths of Jesus”–are the “truths Upside Down”. So often, these truths are opposed to popular wisdom. However, as we have looked at these truths we have seen that they are rather amazing and the results of applying these truths are better for us.
These next truths that Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount are about as “upside down” as they come in comparison to popular wisdom…. however….they are truths that can change and enrich our lives.
Have there been times in your life, where someone did something to you or where something happened to you, times that you wanted to exact revenge or you wanted to retaliate? These are the times that Jesus lived in–1st century Israel. Times that were unbearable. Times that retribution and retaliation were a key word.
What I want to do is to look a little at those times and then to look at the wisdom of Jesus in dealing with a tough life. We all, in one way or another, struggle through tough times. We face times that are hard for us each day and our times are not always that easy as we interact with others.
Soon, we will start to look at the wisdom Jesus shared for those caught up in day-to-day struggles. We will look again at the “TRUTH UPSIDE DOWN”–the key is, it’s still the truth! And the truth can set us free!