Are we taking “part” of scripture as the gospel?

“An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth“. How many times have we heard this scripture used to justify one’s retaliation? I’ve heard it used, more than once. When someone speaks ill of us, or wrongs us, it sure makes us “want to get even.” However, if we read the next few verses, we find that “getting even”, (if I understand it, correctly), isn’t the correct teaching here.

Read with me, Matthew 5:38-42.
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“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury:’An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.”

“An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” is really not about how we see it but about how Jesus sees it.


7 thoughts on “Are we taking “part” of scripture as the gospel?”

  1. Thanks for sharing Needles. Jesus really does see things from a different perspective. He sees the eternal consequences and rewards. As I read the passage above, my Bible cross-referenced vs. 39 with Isaiah 50:6 which said that Jesus Himself lived out His own teaching when He went to the cross on our behalf. “I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint and I know that I will not be ashamed.” And as I read further down in Matt 5 Jesus told us to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…”. Your blog makes me think I better stop and take an attitude/reaction inventory to make sure I’m lining up with Jesus way of seeing things when others ‘speaks ill of us, or wrongs us..”

  2. On ‘turning the other cheek’, we who love the Lord and serve Him with a pure heart can take comfort in knowing that our God will make all things right, despite insults, injury, unjust criticisms, mockings, and the like. We take refuge in the Words of the Scriptures that say in Heb. 10:30, “For we know Him Who said, Vengeance is Mine (retribution and the meting out of full justice and rest with Me). I will repay. I will exact the compensation, says the Lord God. And again the LORD will judge and determine and solve and settle the causes and the cases of His people”. Nothing escapes our Just Judge, the Lord God Almighty. He sees it all; our hurts; our offenses and He will be the Judge of all things, fair and unfair; just and unjust. The Scriptures say, ” Will the God of Righteousness judge unjustly?” No! We can rest with confidence that if we take the higher road of humility and
    self-control and not retaliate in those humiliating situations, we can rest assured that our Just Judge will always and eternally judge in favor of a righteous judgment, fairly and impartially for “the Lord God is no respecter of persons.”

  3. Oh Needles this is such a tough one. I have heard of cases where someone did a deadly act to someone and the relatives totally forgave the person. Of course there are other acts that may be lesser but just as mean or vicious. My natural self would say, “String them up.” – An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. I have come to understand that the act that the person does may not be forgivable (as it is sinful), but that it is the person that God is interested in. He is a God of LOVE. This love I don’t think we can fully grasp, so therefore if God is interested in the person how can we be otherwise.

    I also heard a sermon that said as followers of Jesus Christ that we are to take up our cross like Jesus. Jesus was spat upon, beaten, mocked, and crucified. He spoke not one harsh word nor kicked or beat them up. He didn’t call down angels on them or call fire down from heaven and incinerate them. He said, Father forgive them for they know not what they do. He came, he suffered, he died, and he arose again because of his LOVE for mankind (all men). What an awesome archetype.

  4. What an awful thought to think I would want to be just like the person(s) or nation(s) or other(s) that had just performed an ugly act. You take my eye and I take your eye. You take my tooth and I will take yours. WHOA! We would all me a eyeless, toothless bunch of folk(s) walking, riding and sharing. For I would surely need your one eye and you mine. Maybe we would have to share teeth. Nope! I don’t want to go there.

    It just amazes my mind to think that we fail to read the holy scriptures and when we do we do it not with an open mind. And, then we take selective passages to prove our points.

    I have to many fun creative things I would like to do and intend to do and I am not going to give my time, energy, wisdom, love, peace and joy to those that have no desire for it. A coat, or a peace meal to send you on your way so you will leave me alone. That’s it.

  5. I’m soooo glad we have Jesus and the Holy Spirit to save teach and guide if we listen and are obidient He will tell us how to see and walk and think like Him….because His ways and thoughts are not ours….His are higher..and like Sara points out if we dont seek with an open mind the truth that is only hidden to those who dont seek…then we will never find and see…….and be free with our eyes, ears, and own teeth……to make known the riches that are in Christ……time energy wisdom love peace and joy and life

  6. Luke 6:27-36 ” 27″ But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30 Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. 31″If you only love those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 32And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! 34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. 35″ Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward in heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”” My Grandmother would always say “KILL WITH KINDNESS”. When someone is not very nice to you, instead of getting mad and doing something you may regret later, say or do something kind to that person. It’s harder to be hurtful to someone showing you love than it is to someone who is being hurtful back. This action could be a turning point in someone’s life. This could win souls to Jesus. Getting angry and getting even brings guilt and this can destroy a Christian heart. It can make one bitter and hard hearted. So be very careful!! There is no material thing on this earth that is worth becoming hard hearted and bitter. Don’t destroy Jesus’ love and compassion in your heart. This is a LOSE-LOSE situation. So let Jesus shine through us all,in every situation of life.

  7. yea, Chickenfarmer! How wonderful it would be if we could follow the Holy Scriptures that you quoted above, restrain ourselves, humble ourselves and take the high road in those confrontational situations. How quickly some of us would foam up and look frantically about to justify ourselves; like it makes a difference to our adversary or the one who is opposing us whether in a difference of opinion, choice, idea or attitude. The transgression is with us, the Christian lover of the Lord. Whether their opinion is determined to be right or wrong, our response or REACTION is what the LORD is looking at.
    BUT, how disarming love is! A soft answer turneth away wrath and I love what you said about “there’s no material thing on this earth worth hard-heartedness and bitterness”
    That’s the truth.

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