Oaths, retaliation and loving our enemies

Freshwater Staff   -  

In Matthew 5:21-48, Jesus teaches on laws and commands that were heard by the people and leaders of Israel, but not fully understood. Over the past two weeks of our Sermon on the Mount series, Norm Pond has looked at the specific topics Jesus addressed: anger (Matthew 5:21-26), lust (27-30), divorce (31-32), oaths (33-37), retaliation (38-42) and loving our enemies (43-48). (Read the full passage here.)

This past Sunday, Norm closed his teaching on the last three topics with the following encouragements:

  • Let your life, your actions and your words be an outward reflection of Jesus so that nothing more is needed for this world to trust that your “Yes” means yes and your “No” means no.
  • Don’t retaliate and repay anger and injustice in kind. Understand that suffering and persecution are going to come in this life. Our challenge is to respond in love.
  • Be willing to go the extra mile with someone who makes you go the first mile. Bitterness and resentment don’t reflect the righteousness of Christ, but only reflect our sin, anger and frustration back on the person who may really just need the love of Jesus.
  • Finally, do you know your enemies? And if you do, what are you doing with them? Are you hating them? Putting distance between you and them so you don’t have to deal with them? Do you keep them at an arm’s length? Or are you showing them the love of Christ and trying to draw them in to Jesus?
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