Top 10 Takeaways from Matthew 5:38-42: “But, I Say Do Not Retaliate”

Here are the Top 10 Takeaways from the sermon I preached this weekend as part of the “Buts of the Bible” Series at Parkview Christian Church.  The context of the message was Matthew 5:38-42, and if you’d like to see the other messages from this series you can click here.

Here you go!

10.  Jesus isn’t trying to take something from us.  He wants to give something to us; a full and better life.  “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” John 10:10 MSG

9.  Religion is what God wants from you – Jesus is about what God wants for you.

8.  The “eye for and eye, tooth for a tooth” teaching was originally a law given to the Jewish people from God to level the punishment scales in a court of law.  It never was intended for individuals to use on one another.  (Mt. 5:38)

7.  “Turning the other cheek” was never intended to be used for disputes about war, protection of family, or abuse.  It was far more personal and spoke to our reaction to wrongs done to us personally.  (Mt. 5:39)

6.  Jesus proposes a way of retaliating that goes against the way our body is naturally wired.  Instead of our instinctive Fight or Flight response, he purposes a 3rd way that places us in a position of creative strength. (Mt. 5:39)

5.  We are in control of how we respond to any and all situations.  Our decision to follow the direction of Christ places us in a unique position of power and strength over our oppressors.

4.  God isn’t asking us to check our common sense at the door and give everyone anything they ask for.  We need to use discernment when deciding to give to a person and find the way to meet their greatest need. (Mt. 5:42)

3.  Jesus knows that revenge, retaliation, and selfishness are bad for our heart.  In fact, they are literally poisoning our souls.

2.  Jesus didn’t hypothetically propose the 3rd way of dealing with conflict.  He lived it.  Jesus will never ask us to do anything that he didn’t either do or experience himself. The 3rd Way is no exception.

1.  You will have many opportunities this week to choose to respond by the 3rd Way.  Whether it’s an angry coworker, a needy neighbor, or a disrespectful kid opportunity will arise to choose to respond differently.  The decision is in your hands.

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