All That Jesus Taught : Bible Study Part 20 | Zac Poonen
Our theme for this study is ‘All that Jesus taught’. We are seeking to obey what Jesus Commanded in Matthew 28:19-20 to go in to every nation, and make disciples, and teach them every single thing that I commanded. With this in mind, that we’ve been looking at the things Jesus taught and commanded beginning with the Gospel of Matthew. We are now in Matthew 5 as we begin this chapter we look at the 9 right attitudes that a Christian should have. That is described in Matthew 5:3-12, 9 right attitudes or more commonly known as be attitudes. Then after that he spoke about our righteousness being greater than the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees. He explains that with 9 wrong attitudes that we should not have and that we should eliminate from our lives. The first wrong attitude is the wrong attitude of anger (Matthew 5:21-26). The second wrong attitude is that of sexually sinful ways of thinking and divorce, both of which amounts in adultery in verse 27-32. Then the 3rd wrong attitude is that of lying. We need to eliminate lying completely from our lives so that we are totally truthful. Now we come to the 4th wrong attitude which is the attitude of taking revenge which is also very common. Unfortunately even among those who call themselves believers.
In the Old Testament the law was an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Now this was the law God gave in Exodus 21, Leviticus 24, and also in Deuteronomy 19. What he was saying was not if somebody takes out your eye, you must take out his eye. What he was saying is don’t take both of his eyes if he took out only one eye of yours. You can forgive him and let him go and don’t take out any of his eye. That would be the best way. So God was limiting the punishment by saying an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth but now here is Jesus raising the standards higher and say “Do not resists the one who is evil. If somebody slaps you on the right cheek turn the other, and if someone sues you to take your shirt then give him your coat as well, and if someone forces you to go one mile go with him two”. Like the Roman soldiers would force the Jewish people who were their slaves and say carry my baggage, my military equipment for a mile and the Jews who were slaves had to do it. He said go 2 miles and don’t fight with him about it. Give to him what he asks of you (verse 42) and don’t turn away from who wants to borrow from you. Now we need to take these words in the spirit which they ere spoken. We need to see what exactly did Jesus mean? Was he telling us to be like doormats that people just walk over? We lie there and we let people do whatever they like to us? We cannot be. Like I often said whenever you don’t understand a scripture properly look at the example of Jesus Christ himself. That is the word made flesh. In the Old Testament, they had Scribes who examine the law to explain every jot and title in it but in the New Testament we don’t go analyzing verses as much as looking at Jesus.
There we have an example. What did Jesus mean by if someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other cheek? We read Jesus himself when we was standing before the Chief Priest in the trial before his crucifixion. They slapped him and he didn’t turn the other cheek. He said if I’ve spoken what’s right then why did you slap me? They did not respond to that and they probably slap him again.