This teaching is not necessarily easy to digest.  Look at the list:

  1. Adultery=when you lust in your heart after a man/woman.  Plan B–Cut off those parts of the body through which lust happens.
  2. Divorce=adultery, when that person marries another (not necessarily while married which is how we define it)
  3. Oaths=Don’t make them, just do what you say you will do, always
  4. Bad Behavior=bless the person
  5. Enemies=love them and be good to them.

Really difficult words if you really think about it.  It’s why this section has so many different interpretations.  Does Matthew mean we are to literally do these?  (We’d have no eyes or hands).  Is it hyperbole about dealing seriously and drastically with sin?  Is it a humorous to show our utter inability to follow these?

I think in many ways it is reflective of what I was taught in one ministry I worked with and that is “walk in the opposite spirit.”  If the environment is permeated with greed, you do spiritual warfare through radical generosity.  Whatever the ‘spirit’ that is operating in that time or place, discern the opposite spirit and walk in it.

So much of life is like this.  If you do opposite of what seems logical, it is oftentimes the way out.



Mt 5:1-16     (Dec 23)
Mt 5:17-30   (Dec 25)
Mt 5: 31-48  (Dec 26)