Week of September 8 - Day 4

Day 4 Read: Matthew 5:38-42

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. 

Reflect: What was the original meaning of “eye for eye” and “tooth for tooth” (Ex. 21:24; Lev. 24:17-20)? How was this law being twisted by the religious teachers of Jesus’ day?

Consider: In order to “turn the other cheek,” we must stay where we are and not run away. This demands both faith and love. It also means that we will be hurt, but it is better to be hurt on the outside than to be harmed on the inside. But it further means that we should try to help the sinner. We are vulnerable, because he may attack us anew; but we are also victorious, because Jesus is on our side, helping us and building our characters.[1]

Respond: How did Jesus’ interpretation of this law differ from the Pharisees’? How did this raise expectations for His followers? What stands out to you about the four examples Jesus gave His followers in verses 39-42? How do these apply to our lives today?

[1] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 24.