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Going The Extra Mile


"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 an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41 Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you."

Good Morning my beloved,

We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my honor and great privilege to have you here with us today. We are especially grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website, and social media platforms with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness and commitment to share God's Word with others continues to bring about tremendous results. People are responding to God's Word! This is all so amazing. We ask you to pray that God will continue to give us boldness to speak the truth in ministry in the face of adversity in the coming days! As you may have noticed, it's becoming more and more difficult in the days in which we live to speak truth in a culture that's offended by everything, especially God's Word.
Jesus said is important for His disciples to follow His commands, yet not many Christians apply themselves to this principle today. As part of our society today, we all have certain inalienable rights. In fact, I do not believe that we’ve ever been concerned about our rights than we are today. 

Part of the curse of sin, is that deep down in the human heart, there is a retaliatory, vengeful, spiteful spirit. Our natural tendency is to want to payback any wrong that we have incurred. We want people to hurt like we were hurt, we demand that justice be served. We often think of justice in terms of others getting what they deserve based on what we believe the situation calls for. We demand they be held accountable. In our demands for justice, we are often masking an internal problem within ourselves, sin. Jesus teaches that revenge is sin, He warns us not to seek personal retribution. Perhaps that's why we often want justice for ourselves, but when we are the offender, we ask that others act in mercy. 
In Romans 12, Paul teaches us "Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men." And, in verse 20 he says "But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head."
Because every person is created in God's image, every human being has the right to be treated with basic dignity, respect, and consideration. Even those with whom we disagree!
In looking for justice, we must look to Jesus. Though Jesus walked in an unjust world, He was committed to justice. However, He was neither passive nor vengeful. He never resorted screaming and yelling or violence to bring about justice. As those who follow Christ, we must seek to live out Jesus’ commitment to justice, and we must not forget to involve Him in our request. We must never escalate the situation by seeking to get even. We live in a world surrounded by people who need mercy. In our passage today, Jesus calls us to respond counter-intuitively. In other words, rather than paying back in kind, we are called to pay back with kindness instead.
Let us pray

Heavenly Father,

Father, we thank You for Your Word. Thank You for this reminder of how He responded, being reviled, He reviled not. Lord,  help us to understand the balance between holding up your law and having a heart of forgiveness. May we learn from the sufferings of Jesus, that we might respond in His heart, reaching out with love and not return evil just because someone did evil to you. Rather than concentrating on justice, help us to concentrate on making sure that we’re doing the right thingleaving room for Your wrath. Help us to die to ourselves. so that we may live for You, in the spirit of humility, gentleness, forgiveness. 
Too often we preach that You are a God of forgiveness, yet destroy the validity of our testimony by living unforgiving lives. Help us to trust You that justice will be done, though it may not be when we want it, or how we want it. You will punish all those who do wrong. Forgive us Lord. May our lives match our message, so that in us the world will see that You are forgiving God. May it be for Your glory and for Christ's sake.
In Christ's name we ask and pray

Today's Message: Going The Extra Mile
In our society, we make heroes out of people who do not take nothing from nobody. And, in contrast, we look down on the gentle, the meek, the gracious and forgiving. We say they are cowardly, and weak. Jesus' teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, is antithetical to everything we believe in human society. Because of the fall, justice became perverted, a spirit of love was turned into a spirit of vengeance. We are born with a retaliatory spirit, its in all of us. We choose an evil path by personally trying to settle the score. 
I have noticed, as a minister of the gospel, that when a society fights for its right, a dominant attitude of selfishness takes place and the result is going to be lawlessness. And, what follows is even more devastating than the injustice we seek to end. That seems to be the way the world works. I believe that we need to rethink our approach, because it’s not producing the results we expect. We are more interested in demanding our rights than we are in doing what’s right. Though we do not do what is right ourselves, we think everyone else should. And, in our desire for due justice and our rights, we literally obliterate the law. 
In studying Jesus' sermon on the hillside in Galilee, I have imagined myself there with the multitude of people who were hearing this sermon, as He was teaching. I have thought how it characterizes our society, as those who like the scribes and Pharisees, having masked the reality of their sinfulness, think they have attained self-righteousness, able to enter the Kingdom of God as wretched sinners. 
This passage has confused a lot of people. It wasn’t intended that way. This is not a passage about how we can preserve our rights, that we should have a society without a police, without armies, that we should have lawlessness society with no authorities. Jesus is teaching that we have to look at the principal of the Mosaic Law, and look at the principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. In shifting the emphasis, they had messed up the interpretation of the law, which they often did. So, Jesus is showing us where the law fits in the life of a believer. We can talk about turning the other cheek, we can talk about forgiveness, but it is never intended to be to the detriment of what is lawful. God made society to be lawful, we see that all throughout the Bible. In fact, the government and authorities are ordained by God to uphold the law. 
I Timothy 1 says "But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted."
That's why God gave the law. Because men are essentially evil, if you let them have their way, they will want things that are unlawful. I believe we are seeing the evidence of this today. 

In Exodus 12, you have the moral law; the law between man and God. In chapter 20, you have the Ten Commandments, God's Law codified. In chapters 21 through 23, you have the civil law. God instituted magistrates, judges and authorities to take care of civil matters. In the Old Testament, three times "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," is mentioned. Three times. All three of those times, it is not a statement that is in any way related to personal relationships, not once. It is related to a civil situation. 
However, the Pharisees had taken a divine principle for the courts, and they made it a matter of personal vendettas. It was never intended for personal vengeance. Jesus is confronting the popular misuse and abuse of the law. The intent of the Old Testament law was the punishment must fit the crime. God was putting boundaries on justice, restraining the evil human heart, which always seeks to go beyond what is reasonable when it's offended. This is the oldest law in the world, it's known as Lex Talionis. The law was to put fear in the hearts of people. Its sometimes called quid pro quo or tit for tat. It's means nothing more than equal justice. It’s a merciful law, designed to protect the weak against the strong
The way to get rid of evil in society, is to expedite just punishment for people who commit crimes. Because there are no consequences for unlawful behavior, man has taken the law into his own hands. You cannot have chaos and anarchy and still preserve society. We have taken pity upon the criminals and punished the victims. In our society, criminals have more rights than honest, law abiding citizens. I believe the pulpit has to again preach an eternal punishment in hell, in order to put this all back into perspective. When the church stopped disciplining sin, society went to hell. I lay the blame on the liberal church, now, everyone is paying the price.
Open your Bibles with me to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5. As we continue our study of the greatest sermon of the New Testament, and I believe, it is the greatest sermon ever preached, known as the Sermon on the Mount. It is the first recorded sermon preached by our Lord Jesus Christ. He is confronting the religious leaders of his day, to show them how they fall short of God's divine standard. He is endeavoring to destroy their inadequate, self-righteous religious system. He contrasts their substandard system of human wisdom with God's divine truth. I guess we could say, it is a sermon on sin.
I invite you to follow along with me as I read verses 38 to 42, to see how Jesus confronts their system of self-effort and dead works, destroying their confidence, leaving them desperate for a Savior. Let us prepare our hearts for the Spirit of God is saying to each of us. Matthew 5:38-42. Listen for the voice of our Lord.
"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 an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you."
So often we pride ourselves on the fact that we keep our word, yet overlook the times when we've manipulated the truth or flat out lied. We pride ourselves on the fact that we have such great love for others, yet we fail to include our enemies in that love. Jesus is saying the human heart is prone to retaliation, and a system of human religion is unable to deal with the heart of the human problem. We need a righteousness beyond our own. In other words, we need a Savior. That’s the heart of the matter.
In verse 38, Jesus says "You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’"
God designed the law, so that justice would be based upon the fact that the punishment must never exceed the crime. Human justice is more like playing poker, "I see your insult and I raise you a punch in the eye!" If someone wrongs us, we look to the courts for justice. We do not want the court to say, "I know you didn't mean to do it, just say you're sorry and all is forgiven." In a court of law, justice operates on an eye for an eye basis. Human relationships operate on the basis of love and forgiveness. These are two distinct categories, that's the way God intended it. He never intended for vengeance to be put into our personal lives. We are to keep a distinction between the court of law and our human relationships. They had turned it to mean, "You can’t take away my rights or I'll get back at you!"
So, in verse 39 He says "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also." This verse has so often been misinterpreted to mean "Just go ahead and use me then walk all over me." They really miss the whole point of this verse, that's not what He's saying. What He's saying is don’t set yourself against someone who wrongs you. In others words, don't start a feud. When you are dishonored, let him do it again before you retaliate. A non-vengeful, forgiving, loving spirit, that's the point. It doesn’t literally mean turn the other cheek and say go ahead, hit me again. By the way, this is the general principle throughout Scripture. As God's people, we are called to be peacemakers, never troublemakers. We are always called to answer evil with good.
Jesus turned the other cheek plenty of times, they beat Him, smacked Him, they spit on Him, they forced a crown of thorns onto His head and then they nailed Him to a cross. Yet, He didn't react in a way consistent with them. He took as much as they wanted to give and He never retaliated.
Look at verse 40, "If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also." There are going to be times when people take advantage of us, that's not what He's talking about. He's talking about when there is justification for this person’s suit. Don't fight to win. Instead, show remorse and give to him what is due him. That's the point. 
The Geek word for shirt is the word "chitón," it was the undergarment, worn next to the skin. A coat is the word "himátion," was the full-length outer garment or tunic. The coat was also the blanket they slept on at night. Exodus 22 says, "If you ever take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, you are to return it to him before the sun sets, for that is his only covering; it is his cloak for his body. What else shall he sleep in? " What Jesus is saying is "If someone has to take you to court, give him what you owe him, show him how sorry you are for causing him trouble, even if it means you’re down to nothing." Show him the love of Christ and give him even more than he asked for. Our attitude should not be one that goes around seeking to defraud people in order to keep what we've got. 

God created each of us to be unique individuals. No two of us are exactly alike. He made us independent. We have a right to be free.But there are going to be times when people are gonna step on your freedom. We hear a lot of people talking about that today "You can't tell me what to do, I've got my rights!" So in verse 41, Jesus says "Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two." 
During the Roman Empire, a Roman soldier or government official could force someone to carry their luggage for them. However, Roman law said that a person could only be forced to do this for one mile and then he was free to go. I imagine that they resented it just as much as we do when we’re forced to do something. Jesus is saying don’t resent it, be generous instead and offer to go another mile. Give him even more than he has the right to demand from you. Be kind and be generous, even when someone forces you to do something against your will. Do it gladly.
A classic illustration, is when Jesus taking His cross to Golgotha to be crucified, when He could no longer carry His cross, a Roman soldier finds Simon of Cyrene and ordered him to help carry the cross. He was compelled to do that by the government. 
That brings us to verse 42, "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you." Jesus is saying when there’s somebody who has a need and they ask, you ought to give it to them. The point is self-sacrificing generosity. I believe this verse should cause each of us to do much soul searching. There is always going to be people who take advantage of our generosity, but we shouldn't punish them by cutting them off from help. Even if they mistreat you, manipulate you or lie to you. As Christ's followers, we should continue to be generous. 

In Closing..
I know that it hurts when you’ve been wronged. But I'd like you to pause for a moment, and imagine if God had only went the first mile with us, where would we be? I'll answer that for you, we’d be in real trouble! He didn't stop there, He carried our burden far beyond that and still does. I believe that Jesus is telling each of us today, this is the kind of heart we ought to have. And then leave everything else to God.
Jesus lived out this teaching in His life. Because Christ has been so kind, so generous to us, as His disciples, there is no reason we can’t be kind and generous with others, it's not out of the realm of the possible. Lord, help us to be generous. Give us the Spirit of Jesus who says, "Father, forgive them."

May it be so..   

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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