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An Eye for an Eye December 2, 2017

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 5:38-42.

Summary: In this passage, Jesus begins by presenting the principle of exact retribution – as stated in Exodus 21:22-25 and Deuteronomy 19:15-21. He then interprets that principle, asserting that believers should not retaliate against those who wrong them. He provides four practical applications of this principle; these examples illustrate the importance of forbearance, even to the point of allowing the offender to double the injustice that they have committed.

Thoughts: This passage spurred me to ponder why we naturally resist those who attempt to wrong us. One thought is that evolution favored this response, in that:

  • early humans who failed to defend themselves against aggressive neighbors effectively surrendered territory – and food – to them
  • early humans who did defend themselves against aggressive neighbors were able to protect their territory – and food – from them.

If this (admittedly speculative) theory has a kernel of truth, then it would help explain the difficulties that we experience in attempting to obey Jesus’ command in this passage. Rejecting a response that could be hardwired into our DNA would be difficult – if not impossible. Thus, we need assistance from the Holy Spirit when we sense that God has called us to display forbearance in a particular situation.

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Comments»

1. Plant Electrician - December 2, 2017

I thought about this during my life and I have thought that one way to think about this is: Jesus is teaching us the true meaning of the Old Testament passage. That we should feel the pain of those that we harm and see in pain to the point that we are inspired to do what we can to help them.


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