Posts Tagged Non-retaliation
Here is one of the highest points of Jesus’ radical teaching on Christian character and lifestyle. I led a Bible study on this last night, and wanted to share some notes and quotes largely taken from Barclay’s Daily Bible Study Series. Enjoy.
Eye for Eye
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
lex talionis = tit for tat, original aim was the limitation of vengeance
“Ancient ethics were based on the law of tit for tat. It is truth that the law was a law of mercy (limitation of vengeance); it was a law for a judge and not for a private individual; it was never literally carried out; and there were accents of mercy speaking at the same time. But Jesus obliterated the very principle of that law, because retaliation, however controlled and restricted, has no place in the Christian life” (Barclay, 165).
Jesus called his disciples to what Bonhoeffer terms a ‘visible participation in his cross.’
“Christ…suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps…When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:21-23).
A. Three Eastern Illustrations of Jesus’ way
1. Turn the other cheek – back-handed slap was a double insult
POINT: “Even if a man should direct at you the most deadly and calculated insult, you must on no account retaliate, and you must on no account resent it” (Barclay, 166).
“The true Christian has forgotten what it is to be insulted; he has learned from his Master to accept any insult and never to resent it, and never to seek to retaliate” (Barclay, 167).
2. Tunics & Cloaks – By right a man’s cloak could not be taken permanently from him according to Jewish law Read the rest of this entry »