Biblical Reflections: Matthew 5:43-44

Matthew 5:43-44 – Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

What if every time someone cut you off in traffic, you chased them down and either cut them off in turn or cussed them out? Or what if every time someone spoke to you in anger, you shouted at them and started a fight to show you were stronger? It seems obvious that we would live in an even more violent and chaotic world. Jesus challenged the universal application of the eye for an eye concept held by the Jews in His days upon the earth. Vengeance in any form leads only to more vengeance, death and suffering.

Jesus declared at the beginning of His sermon on the mount, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). We will never be blessed in retaliation. Judgement should be left to those with level heads and unbiased hearts. Above all we should trust that God will repay.

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled…” (Hebrews 12:14-15).

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