Retaliation Facts for 3-8 Year Olds

(Matthew 5:38-42)

Categories: Sermon on the Mount

  • After being filled up by the beatitudes, the disciples are given “commands.”
  • One of them has to do with retaliation.
  • This is about us.
  • Jesus starts, “You have heard that it was said, ‘an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’”
  • In the Old Testament, the law “an eye for an eye” was a big step forward. It said that the punishment must fit the crime.
  • But Jesus says, “I tell you, do not resist an evil person.”
  • The word “resist” means, “against and stand.”
  • So “resist not” means “don’t get even.” Don’t try to get even with the people who may hurt you.

Then, he gives four very interesting examples.

  • Number 1 is: “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”

    • Right handed people usually slap across the left cheek.
    • This specifically says “right cheek.” So to slap someone on the right cheek, means the slapper has given you a back-handed slap, which is an insult.
    • Jesus is saying, “Let them. Don’t get even.” It takes a really big person to not want to get even. So we don’t take offense.
  • Number 2 is: “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.”

    • Jesus knows that many people only owned two things in the entire world, literally, the clothes on their backs.
    • So he is talking about stuff that people own. We are not to care about our things more than we care about others. Don’t fight about possessions.
  • Number 3 is: “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”

    • Any Roman soldier had the right to make any subject carry his baggage for a mile at a time.
    • The Jews really didn’t like this.
    • Jesus is saying, “Give the first mile to Caesar, and the second one to God.”
    • Going the extra mile is going beyond fairness to help work things out with others.
  • Number 4 is: “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”

    • This doesn’t mean to give without thinking. People may ask for things that aren’t good for them.
    • The Spirit will help us to understand what is being asked.
  • What is common among all of these examples is that they involve us personally.
  • We’re not being asked to stand by while others get hurt.  This is really about us and our reactions. 
  • And more importantly, if these things ever happens, we should run right back to the beatitudes and God’s promises. 
  • His blessings filled us up, so we can handle incidents like these.