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Foundations For Our Future #71

Foundations for Our Future (71)

by: The Rev. Dr. Jon Shuler

Retaliation

Once again today we see why it is so easy to read the Sermon on the Mount and develop an eagerness to get past it. The teaching of Jesus is not easy to embrace. It requires a changed heart, and even then it is sometimes very difficult. Today we hear that we are not to retaliate against those who do us wrong. (Matthew 5:38,39) Turn the other cheek.

Why is this so hard? I think there is one reason and one reason only. Men are sinners. Men will hurt us. Men will take advantage of us. Men will misuse us. And because God made us to flourish in this life, and to rejoice in it, we fight back. We try to establish a place of freedom to be who we were meant to be. But in the process we hurt the other person. What we did not want done to us, we do to the other. If you take my eye away from me, I will take your eye away from you.

Here we are standing before the very heart of darkness that is in fallen creatures, and we hear the Lord calling us to a different world. He is calling us to the kingdom of heaven, but he is asking us to enter it on this earth. This is the place that he wants his disciples to inhabit. They are to be kingdom pioneers, called to be part of a new community on the earth. That community is called the church.