Monday, February 19, 2024

Living The Jesus Way – The Way of Response

 Monday, February 19, 2024

“You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48 CSB

Living The Jesus Way – The Way of Response

As Christians, our purpose from Jesus is to go and make disciples. We do this with our lives when we live The Jesus Way. Every single word, action, and response should reflect the love of Jesus and point others towards Him. As Christ followers, the world will be watching everything we do, especially those who are not Christ followers. They do not understand the grace and love of Jesus so our reactions in their presence is a living testimony. 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.  And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.  If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:39–42

In this passage of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus counters the mosaic law of the Old Testament with what He says it truly means, doing away with the outrageous acts of religion. Pharisees and scribes had taught the “eye for an eye” principle and seeking personal revenge was acceptable. The punishment should fit the crime, so if you were punched then you should punch back, and the law is on your side.

When Jesus says, “Do not resist an evil person,” He is saying we should adopt an attitude of humility and seek to be peaceful with those who have wronged us. We can do this by giving even more than what they are taking and responding in kindness. We are to live contrary from the world. When we poke back, we aren’t living like Jesus. When we seek revenge, we are as wrong as the offender. Jesus is saying that whatever injury, offense, or insult we bear can be placed in His hands for Him to bear and make right. We find restitution in Him, not in revenge. He heals broken hearts and binds up our wounds. He restores what is lost at the hands of others for His name’s sake. It does not mean we stay in dangerous situations. It just means that we do not retaliate in response to offenses made against us. This is what the world does and expects us to do as well, but we have been called and commanded to respond in a Jesus way.  

How does a Christian’s response to offense demonstrate The Jesus Way?

As Christ followers living The Jesus Way, the only response that is right is love. Jesus ends this passage in verses 43-48 speaking about how we are to love our enemies and pray for those that persecute us. We can respond in a way that is honoring to God through Him. We cannot do this in our own power but through Him we can show love to those who hurt us.  

People will hurt us in this life, that is a guarantee. Jesus suffered at the hands of others, and He understands the pain. Every time we are offended in some way is an opportunity for us to be Jesus to the one who hurt us. Living the Jesus Way calls for us to actively love and help our enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. This is not the way of the world, but as Christ followers we are to live contrary to the world. As we live The Jesus Way, we are to be imitators of Christ, glorifying Him in every action, decision, and response, and always pointing others to Him.

I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another. John 13:34-35

·      Has someone hurt or offended you that you have not forgiven?

·      Name one person in your life who is an “enemy” that you can show love to this week. Who can you pray for?


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