SUNDAY, JANUARY 2
Scripture: Matthew 5:38-48
In Matthew 5:38-48 in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus was expounding about the attitude that we take when we are trying to win people to Christ. He said in verse 39, “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. Whoever slaps you on the right cheek turn the other to him also.” This is the classic passage that also includes praying for our enemies. The problem is we have completely taken this passage out of context and applied it to the point it dominates the church’s thinking about what it means to be Christlike. Half of the church is Priestly and half of the church is Kingly! The Priestly does not resist when trying to save, but the Kingly resists to the point of death-just ask Herod! The very word for resist Jesus used in Matthew 5 also appears in two other places where we are commanded to resist the enemy and he will flee from us. A church that consistently turns the other cheek to evil enables evil to overcome good. Jesus was clear about this issue. He commanded the church to overcome evil with good and not to allow evil to overcome us. When “turn-the-other-cheek” is consistently taken out of context evil rejoices at the passivity of the church. Will we pay the price to develop the Kingly character of Christ so we can see the justice of God in action? That is really the question for this year!