Faithlife Sermons

RESPONDING LIKE CHRIST

SPIRITUAL GROWTH EMPHASIS  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 71 views

Spiritual growth means responding like Christ to those we dislike

Notes
Transcript
Handout
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction

Introduction
“If someone forces you to go one mile.…” This expression came out of old Persia and refers to the authority given by the king to those sent to do his bidding. If a courier or soldier needed assistance in fulfilling the king’s mission, he could commandeer any man or horse or wagon with no questions asked. Later the armies of the Greeks and the Romans adopted the practice.
“If someone forces you to go one mile.…” This expression came out of old Persia and refers to the authority given by the king to those sent to do his bidding. If a courier or soldier needed assistance in fulfilling the king’s mission, he could commandeer any man or horse or wagon with no questions asked. Later the armies of the Greeks and the Romans adopted the practice.
“If someone forces you to go one mile.…” This expression came out of old Persia and refers to the authority given by the king to those sent to do his bidding. If a courier or soldier needed assistance in fulfilling the king’s mission, he could commandeer any man or horse or wagon with no questions asked. Later the armies of the Greeks and the Romans adopted the practice.
In Jesus’ day any Jew could be forced away from his own concerns to help a legionnaire who may or may not have really needed him. In much the same way Simon of Cyrene was “compelled,” (forced) to bear the cross of Jesus
).
The Jews of Jesus’ day, of course, deeply resented this humiliating law and saw it as a symbol of foreign domination. You can imagine, then, their surprise when Jesus said, “go with him two miles.”
Matthew 27:32 ESV
As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross.
The Jews of Jesus’ day, of course, deeply resented this humiliating law and saw it as a symbol of foreign domination. You can imagine, then, their surprise when Jesus said, “go with him two miles.”
Spiritual growth means responding like Christ to those we dislike
William Shakespeare once commented to a friend in the midst of his anger to not, “Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself.”
Elliot Ritzema, ed., 300 Quotations for Preachers (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012).

1) A DIFFICULT WORLD

“If someone forces you … strikes you … sues you … asks you”
).
Matthew 5:38–42 ESV
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

A. This saying is hard on us because we, like the Jews of the first century, live in a difficult world.

It is a world of rights and responsibilities.

2. It is a world of basic criteria and minimum standards.

It is a world of basic criteria and minimum standards.

B. Our concept of “justice” is built on the principle of “reciprocity.” It seeks to insure that those who violate rights and deny justice are appropriately punished.

“An eye for an eye,” is the way the Bible puts it.
Rather than inviting retaliation, the real goal of this law was to insure justice by guaranteeing proportional compensation to the victim.
It was designed to keep the rich and powerful from literally “getting away with murder.”

2. Such justice is sanctioned by God Himself as a means of constraining the human tendency toward exploitation and manipulation of the defenseless.

Such justice is sanctioned by God Himself as a means of constraining the human tendency toward exploitation and manipulation of the defenseless.

C. Understanding this, we are even more surprised at these words of Jesus.

C. Understanding this, we are even more surprised at these words of Jesus.
Rather than calling upon them (and us) to resist this unjust law or, at best, to comply with it only minimally, he calls upon his followers to respond to evil with good and to domination with voluntary subordination.

2. To citizens of a one-mile world this just does not compute.

To citizens of a one-mile world this just does not compute.

2) A CHRIST-LIKE CHURCH

A Second-mile Church
“Turn the other cheek … give your last garment … go the extra mile … love your enemies”
Matthew 5:38–48 ESV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matt 5:38-
Matthew 5:38–42 ESV
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

A. If honest, we don’t want the text to say what it REALLY says

I would like to appeal to “oriental exaggeration” or “rhetorical hyperbole” as a way to diffuse the power of these words to upset my life.
I would like to do this but I can’t.

Though Jesus does not expect a slavishly literal application of the examples He offers (see , ; ), it is none-the-less clear that He is calling for a new and different response to the people who try to exploit us.

Though Jesus does not expect a slavishly literal application of the examples He offers it is none-the-less clear that He is calling for a new and different response to the people who try to exploit us.
John 18:22–23 ESV
22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?”
Matthew 21:12–17 ESV
12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” 14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “ ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” 17 And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.
-; ),

B. What does it mean to “go the second mile?”

It means to rise above the instinctive desire to “strike back,” “get even,” or “settle the score” and to meet evil with good.

It means to swallow pride and abandon self-interest. It means to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. It means to live by grace in the face of the unfair.

It means to swallow pride and abandon self-interest.
It means to be slow to anger and quick to forgive.
It means to live by grace in the face of the unfair.

C. Why should we do this?

To master the power of passive resistance?
To shame the sinner into repentance?
To these potential benefits Jesus does not appeal.

2. Do this, He says, because God acts like this toward us (see ; also ).

Do this, He says, because God acts like this toward us
Matthew 5:45 ESV
45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Romans 5:7 ESV
7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—
Matthew 5:45 ESV
45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
; also ).
).

Conclusion

300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans A Resolution to Not Act as One’s Own

Henceforth, I am not to act, in any respect, as my own. I shall act as my own if I ever make use of any of my powers to anything that is not to the glory of God, and do not make the glorifying of him my whole and entire business—if I murmur in the least at affliction; if I grieve at the prosperity of others; if I am in any way uncharitable; if I am angry because of injuries; if I revenge them; if I do anything purely to please myself, or if I avoid anything for the sake of my own ease; if I omit anything because it is great self-denial; if I trust to myself; if I take any of the praise of the good that I do, or that God does by me; or if I am in any way proud.

JONATHAN EDWARDS

Henceforth, I am not to act, in any respect, as my own. I shall act as my own if I ever make use of any of my powers to anything that is not to the glory of God, and do not make the glorifying of him my whole and entire business—if I murmur in the least at affliction; if I grieve at the prosperity of others; if I am in any way uncharitable; if I am angry because of injuries; if I revenge them; if I do anything purely to please myself, or if I avoid anything for the sake of my own ease; if I omit anything because it is great self-denial; if I trust to myself; if I take any of the praise of the good that I do, or that God does by me; or if I am in any way proud. (JONATHAN EDWARDS)
Before we dismiss the ethic of the second mile as “ideal” or “unworkable” we should remember how close it is to the gospel.
Henceforth, I am not to act, in any respect, as my own. I shall act as my own if I ever make use of any of my powers to anything that is not to the glory of God, and do not make the glorifying of him my whole and entire business—if I murmur in the least at affliction; if I grieve at the prosperity of others; if I am in any way uncharitable; if I am angry because of injuries; if I revenge them; if I do anything purely to please myself, or if I avoid anything for the sake of my own ease; if I omit anything because it is great self-denial; if I trust to myself; if I take any of the praise of the good that I do, or that God does by me; or if I am in any way proud. (JONATHAN EDWARDS)
JONATHAN EDWARDS
Stephen M. Hooks, Sermon Outlines for Growing Christians, ed. Sam E. Stone, Standard Sermon Starters (Cincinnati, OH: Standard, 1996), 31–32.
Related Media
Related Sermons