Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dealing with People, When People are Evil (Matt. 5.38-48)

Scripture: Matthew 5.38-48
Translation: 5.38You’ve heard that it was said, “eye for eye” and “tooth for tooth.” 39But I’m telling you don’t fight back against an evil person. Instead, whoever hits you on your right cheek, turn the other one toward him too. 40And for the person who wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat too. 41And whoever forces you to carry his stuff for one mile, go with him for two. 42Give to the person who asks you. And don’t turn away the person who wants to borrow from you. 43You’ve heard that it was said, “You will love your neighbor” and “you will hate your enemy.” 44But I’m telling you, love your enemies and pray for the people who are persecuting you, 45so that you can become sons of your Father in the Heavens, because He causes His sun to rise over wicked people and good people, and He sends rain on righteous and unrighteous people. 46You see, if you love the people who love you, what reward do you have? The tax collectors do the same thing, don’t they? 47And if you say hello to only your brothers, what do you do that’s better? The pagans do the same thing, don’t they? 48So, you will be perfect like your Heavenly Father is perfect.

1.      A lot of times in life, we feel like we should be perfect, and a lot of us work really hard to become perfect, but today Jesus is going to tell us how we can actually be truly perfect like God is perfect, and that achievement, as it turns out, is possible only when we live like God in the way we treat evil people and our enemies

1.      Structure
a.       Don’t fight back, give generously (5.38-42)
                                                              i.      Intro: Make sure they pay for what they do
                                                            ii.      Commands:
1.      Generally: don’t fight back
2.      Examples:
a.       Turn the other cheek
b.      Give more than they tried to take
c.       Go further than they demand
d.      Give if they ask
e.       Lend if they want to borrow
b.      Don’t hate, love everybody (5.43-48)
                                                              i.      Intro: you think you should love friends and hate enemies
                                                            ii.      Commands: love and pray especially for those who are hostile towards you
                                                          iii.      Explanation
1.      God is gracious to all, Godly and ungodly people, so shouldn’t you be gracious to all
a.       Gives everyone sun
b.      Gives everyone rain
2.      Even Evil people are nice to their friends, so shouldn’t you do better than them?
a.       They love their friends
b.      They say hello only to their family
                                                          iv.      Conclusions: be like God by loving all people
2.      Themes
a.       Love
b.      Humility
c.       What was said
d.      Payback
e.       Evil people, hostile people
f.       God as our Father
g.      Grace to all
h.      Hate
i.        Jesus’ teaching
3.      Doctrines
a.       Common Grace: God gives grace, broad love to all people, good and bad, because of Jesus, but without saving all people
b.      Christians are others oriented not self-oriented, moreover, they should be going beyond the expectations of normal people in terms of how loving and humble we are

a.       When people are evil to you: Don’t Fight Back, Give Back Grace
                                                              i.      If they hit you, don’t fight back, let them hit you again
1.      This doesn’t mean however that you should put yourself in dangerous situations, or that fighting in defense of your life is never appropriate, or for example, if someone rapes you once, you should let them do it twice
2.      Jesus is not talking about super dangerous situations, He is talking about not retaliating, not total pacifism, He is saying don't let hitting someone back be your first response.
3.      But look, if someone is trying to seriously hurt you or rape you or abuse you, get out of that situation, and that may mean acting to save your life with force
4.      You know the kind of situation Jesus is talk about, where one guy overreacts and hits you, not when some thug comes at you with a knife.
                                                            ii.      If they want to sue you out of your money, give them more than they were expecting
1.      This doesn’t happen in the same way anymore, but if someone is trying to sue you to get something, give them more than they asked for. For example, maybe your grandmother dies and leaves you and the other grandkids a bunch of her stuff, and one of your relative sues you to get one of the things she left to you, just give it to your relative and give that relative something extra on top of that
                                                          iii.      If they force you to work for them, exceed expectations
1.      Back then, roman soldiers could force you to carry their stuff for a mile, so Jesus says don’t fight them on it, carry it for double what you have to
2.      Today maybe your boss forces you to work an extra hour than you were scheduled, if you need to go ahead and work two extra hours.
3.      Jesus doesn’t mean let people walk all over you necessarily, just that you should exceed expectations
                                                          iv.      If they ask you for something, give it
1.      This is pretty simple, if you can give it, give it
2.      Honestly, I struggle with what the limits of this would be, maybe Jesus means give people whatever they ask for, in terms of stuff
3.      But I do know this does not mean that you compromise your moral convictions, in other words, just because your boss asks you to do something illegal doesn’t mean you should, nor should you have sex with your significant other because they ask, or help them cheat because they ask
4.      But if you can give something to someone and still glorify God and accomplish the mission God has sent you on, give it. People may at times take advantage of us, but following Jesus sometimes means not prioritizing our interests above others—humility, or giving our love rather than whether they deserve it
                                                            v.      If they want to borrow from you, lend to them
1.      Sometimes we refuse to lend money to people, because we think we’ll never get paid back, and Jesus says basically, o well. Lend anyways. Being loving and humble is more important than a guaranteed return on your investment
b.      When people are your enemies: Don’t hate them, love them and pray for them
                                                              i.      Love your enemies
1.      Hate is the natural response to hate, to hostility
2.      But love is the Godly response
                                                            ii.      Pray for those who persecute you
1.      Cursing and hatred is the natural response
2.      But loving them by praying that God would bless them and work in them to draw them to Him, that is the kind of response God would make,
                                                          iii.      This is the response that shows you really are God’s children, not that it makes you on an ultimate level God’s children, but on a practical level you will have become God’s children if you respond to hate and hostility with love and humility
c.       Why respond with humility and love
                                                              i.      Because Jesus is telling us a different kind of lifestyle than we have in the world
1.      Jesus is taking us beyond the verses that were given to restrain sin
2.      Jesus is taking us beyond the misunderstanding of love your neighbor as meaning love your friends and hate your enemies
                                                            ii.      Because that is how we can fully live into our relationship with God, how we can fully reflect God, because God humbly and lovingly gives grace to all people, good or bad
1.      God gives the sun to evil and good people—the sun is necessary for growing crops, but also for seeing and working, and today for solar energy
2.      God gives rain to righteous people and unrighteous people—rain is also necessary for growing crops, but is also necessary for water in the desert and beauty in nature in general
                                                          iii.      Because we will be acting like God by humbly loving our enemies,
1.      Because any human being can love people who are nice to Him, even evil people, so if we want rewards in Heaven, we have to go beyond that
2.      Because any human being can be nice to his relatives, even atheists, so if we want to live better lives than them, we have to go beyond that

3.      So becoming perfect like God, means humbly loving everybody like God

No comments:

Post a Comment