An Eye For An Eye
Scripture: Matthew 5:38–5:42
The passage we study today has been misunderstood, misapplied and abused as much as any passage of the Bible. It has been twisted to say that Christians should be doormats. Many extrapolate from this text–completely ignoring its context–to teach military pacifism, or to justify conscientious objection to military service. It was a twisted application of this passage that provided the thesis for Leon Tolstoy's novel War and Peace, suggesting eliminating police, the military and other authorities would bring about a utopian society.
Let's look at it for what Jesus said, and analyze it in light of the cultural and historical context in which He said it.
- The Letter of the Law (38)
- The Pharisees' Version (Background)
- Public Justice vs. Personal Revenge (39-42)