Matthew chapter five opens with a collection of Jesus’ teachings spanning three chapters known as the “Sermon on the Mount.”
In chapter five, Jesus touches on a myriad of topics that we have come to call “The Beatitudes” or “Blessed or happy are those who…” It’s interesting however, that Jesus claims people are blessed or happy when they do basically the opposite of what one might consider could make them blessed or happy. His teachings were and are radical. They leave us scratching our heads.
Jesus flips the script on what seems natural to us, but somehow, it works. His way works.
For example, in verse 38, Jesus teaches on love and forgiveness–but with a twist.
Verse 38 says this, “You have heard that it was said, eye for and eye and tooth for a tooth. But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
As we continue reading, Jesus tells us to go an extra mile if we’re forced to walk one mile, to give, and to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
Our inner monologue screams, “But that’s not fair!”
Fair for whom? Us? Thank God we don’t get what’s fair, because God says we have all sinned and the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus.
Our God is a God of great unceasing mercy, forgiveness and love, not only for us, but for others. Even our enemies. Even those that might hurt us or those we love.
What God is calling us to do is not easy. He even ends in verse 48 with a verse for us to be perfect as He is perfect. We can’t be perfect, and how in the world are we going to love those who hurt us or who are our enemies?
God knows we can’t, but through Jesus, we can. This task He’s called us to is only possible through Jesus. Daily dying to ourselves, and asking God to help us be more like Him.
Pray that today. Lean in that direction. Ask God to help you be all that He’s called you to be.