We’re sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to the greatest sermon ever preached: the Sermon on the Mount.
The world says: Revenge is sweet. Fight back. Retaliate.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)
Galatians 5 describes in graphic detail what life looks like with and without the Spirit:
- Life without the Spirit includes discord, factions, hatred and rage.
- Life with the Spirit includes love, joy and PEACE.
The devil loves troublemakers. God loves peacemakers.
Later in his sermon, Jesus said these provocative words:
You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” 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. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:38-45)
Did Jesus really mean all that? What if someone punches us repeatedly really hard? What if someone steals our new 200-inch 3D HD TV? What if someone bombs us?
Surely Jesus can’t mean that we should love them? Or does he mean exactly that?
How did Jesus react when they mocked him? Tortured him? Spat on him? Beat him? Convicted him in a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a trial and then hung him on a cross?
With love. He died so that we might live.
Just in case Jesus’ words and actions weren’t clear enough, his followers echoed the power of peace with these simple commands:
Seek peace and pursue it.
(1 Peter 3:11)
Make every effort to live at peace with everyone.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Want to be a child of God? Be a peacemaker.
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