Mat 5:38-42; The Light of the Selfless in a Self-centered World.

Class Outline:

Sunday June 30, 2024


Idea: God has made kingdom citizens in the self-centered old world to reveal King and kingdom by the King’s way of selflessness.


God has done an amazing thing. He has made kingdom citizens in the old world who are surrounded by those who know nothing of the coming kingdom and the Lord then commissioned us to reveal the King and kingdom to them, creating out of them disciples (apprentices of the Lord).


In doing this, the Lord has entreated and commanded us to come out from the ways of the world, sanctification (personal honor, personal comfort, personal freedom, personal ownership) so that our lives are ones that obviously long for the ways of the kingdom of heaven and not the things of the earth.


MAT 5:38-42


Jesus has authority over the law, “But I (ego) say to you…” 


It is not wise to ignore or change His teaching for “practical” reasons. 


Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth (EXO 21:24; LEV 24:20; DEU 19:21 … and in each case it is in the midst of a list of equivalents for sentencing). 


The reason is sound - You shall purge the evil among you (DEU 19:19-20). It is common sense - in the Code of Hammurabi and other ancient codes. 


He is interested in the condition of the hearts of His disciples, which they will need if they are to fulfill His commissions to the church. 


Objections based on practicality: society, economy, my home will fall apart. 


Four illustrations 


His teaching on this matter is not entirely new (PRO 24:29; 25:21). 


Vengeance was never allowed (DEU 32:35, vengeance is always the Lord’s). 


The suffering Servant of Isaiah (42:1-9; 50:4-10). 


Slap on the cheek - a matter of honor. 


Right cheek is a backhand slap, which was a great insult to honor and redress for such was permitted - financial. 


Jesus is telling us not to seek a settlement for a strike against our honor. Give the other cheek (left is a lesser insult) is a great way of saying that in no way are we to seek financial redress. 


Application to Jesus: ISA 50:6; Matt 26:67-68. Paul: 2Co 11; 1CO 9:19


Give your cloak also - dealing with an opponent at law. 


Sewed for shirt (chiton - inner garment) as collateral (odd in our day, but not theirs; people did not possess many clothes); EXO 22:26-27; DEU 24:12-13


Law forbids keeping the outer garment of another. The Lord tells them to voluntarily give it away to the man who has a right over your shirt. 


Bad enough losing your shirt, but to lose your outer garment, of which most only had one would be to have given all covering and guaranteed to be cold at night, or will they? (MAT 6:25-33). 


Application to Jesus: MAT 27:25 (PSA 22:18). Paul 2CO 11:25, 27. 


Go with him double of what you have to. Deals with the grievance of a subject people. 


Aggareuo is the verb (“forces you to go”) - the required work of a mounted postal officer. 


One other use is for Simon who was forced to carry the Lord’s cross. 


Roman soldier could force a subject to be a porter for his equipment. This oppressive practice was greatly resented in Israel, who saw the Romans as enemy occupiers.  


Jesus says that however far that Roman soldier, who you see as an enemy, forces you to go, go with him double the amount. To do so for anyone was remarkable, but for your enemy was unheard of. 


Request for things. Pertains to graciousness. 


Jesus does not specify friend or foe. 


Giving to the poor is a constant theme throughout the Scripture. 


But because Jesus does not address any exceptional situations, this is viewed as the most impractical. 


The practical ones who fear the consequences forget 2CO 9:6-15


Jesus application: GAL 2:20 “gave Himself up for me;” MAT 20:28 “to give His life a ransom for many.” Paul: Php 3:7, “I count all things as loss for the sake of Christ.” 


Application: No personal matter is above the commissions given to us to the Lord. [MAT 28:19-20]


You are commissioned by the Lord to live out a life that longs for the lost, the enemy, the fallen, the ignorant. 


It is a life that rids itself of all the things that the world values and treasures, while shining the light of Christ to them. 


What will it take for you to see the value of others as more important than yourself - and fulfill the Lord’s commission (1CO 9:23-24)? 


Why are the commissions more important and valuable than personal honor and all the rest?