Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Surrender to Others Like Jesus

 Surrender to others like Jesus would.

How would Jesus surrender to others? He tells us in Matthew 5:39-42...

“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.” (39)

This speaks to fighting back when assaulted. It seems to me you could retreat. Or you could just allow the assault but you are not to fight back. You will have to fight the temptation to pay back violence with violence, but Jesus says here no. When it comes to defending yourself, Jesus rests in his Father’s protection. If the Father wishes to protect him, he will. And the Father did protect him all the way until he didn’t just before and on the cross. And Jesus never resisted the evil people in his path.

“And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” (40)

When we are sued, we want to defend ourselves there as well. We go to court and fight it out there. Instead, Jesus wants us to not only give them what they want, but even more. It seems to me he wants to pour out grace and mercy on to this person selfishly suing. It seems that the Lord sometimes wants to bless the one suing at our expense. Since God knows all things including what he’s doing in someone’s life who would sue God’s children, we would be right and wise to gladly submit to the Lord in this as well.

“If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” (41)

In those days, it was not unusual for a Roman soldier to ask you to carry some of his gear (say, his heavy armor) for him for a mile. It was a legal request, by Roman law. Now it’s hard to do that when you’re walking carrying your own stuff. But when it’s your enemy asking you, this seems like too much. But Jesus says not only is it not too much—he wants you to do even more for them. Again, surrendering to God and showering others, undeserving though they are—with grace and mercy. This is the way.

“Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” (42)

Whether someone is asking for money or to borrow money, Jesus wants us to live so open-handed that we freely give as we’ve freely received. This is gracious and merciful. This is also good for us. It teaches us to live open-handedly with all that the Lord has freely given us. It chases away a heart of greed and replaces it with a heart of gratitude.

May God change our hearts so that we think, believe and live more like Jesus. May God find us surrendering to others like Jesus would.

What is God saying to you right now?

What are you going to do about it?

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