Read today's Bible references, then read below.
GO THE EXTRA MILE
How do you respond when someone does wrong or when someone treats you unjustly or expects much more from you than they themselves are ready to give? Do you see it as an opportunity to love (John 13:34)?
Jesus is not contradicting Exodus 21. Exodus 21 is the principle of equal justice on which governments should operate. The God-given authority of the government to punish is reaffirmed in the New Testament (Rom. 13:1-4). So Jesus is not implying that we “turn the other cheek” and allow the masked gunman to hold up the convenience store and help himself to whatever he wants while we all look the other way and then help him out to his car. Justice must be upheld. The Bible describes appropriate justice and appropriate limitations. God’s Word assures that there needs to be a significant penalty for a crime so that others would be warned that there will be justice to pay. At the same time, He provides a way to protect the guilty, making sure that the penalty is limited to fit the crime (an eye for an eye—no more).
But our personal lives are a different story from the government administering justice. In Matthew 5, Jesus teaches us to go beyond an equal eye-for-an-eye response in our personal lives. When we are wronged, when our dignity is maligned, or when our rights are infringed upon, we are to turn the other cheek, give what is due, and offer our cloak as well. We are to walk not only one mile but two. The principles in these verses apply to your day-to-day relationships and to those very difficult relationships. How might you relate these principles in your role as a wife, as a mother, or as a friend?
Think about how Jesus lived out what He taught in Matthew 5. Bow your head in worship. Thank Him and praise Him.
Is there anyone to whom you need to “turn the other cheek”? Be honest. Be specific. Don’t gloss over it. What is a specific good thing that you can do to bless someone who has hurt you?
Close in prayer.