The Sermon on the Mount: pt 8, Christ’s Law on Revenge

by Steve Reynolds  /  Matthew 5:38-42  /  March 6, 2016

We have all had a time when someone pained us so badly that the only answer is revenge. Maybe it was that person who stole your girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse; maybe it was that person who spread stories about you around school/work/town, and the only way to get back at them was to do the same; maybe it was that person who stole from you or lied to you; maybe it was that person who hurt you or a family member physically or emotionally. We have all had those times, and I believe it is fair to say that we don’t just grow out of it. Something inside of us screams, “They must pay,” when someone hurts us. Why is that? What causes us to react this way? It can be any number of things. It could be pride; pride for yourself or pride for your family causes you to stand up. It could be love for something or someone so much that seeing them hurt or losing them would be devastating. Or it could be mistrust; we don’t trust those in charge of exacting justice to actually do their job. Whatever it is, we all find out sooner-or-later that revenge is never sweet enough. It never truly medicates the pain we felt. In our text, today, Jesus talks about revenge; he interprets the Old Testament law concerning justice and applies it to our lives as followers. And, I pray, that today’s sermon will show you that Christ’s followers live in his mercy and not for revenge in this world.