North Way Christian Community Church in Pittsburgh, PA

Week 3 – Devotional 1

READ
Scripture: Matthew 5:38-42

Jesus covers several specific scenarios in this passage: being slapped in the face, losing possessions in a lawsuit, and being forced into service by a king’s messenger. What do these situations have in common? They capture moments when his listeners would feel wronged, insulted, inconvenienced, or embarrassed. The crucial question Jesus raises is how we respond in these moments. The first-century Jewish culture (like ours today) often taught people to fight back, to take “an eye for an eye.” But principles of justice, when taken into our own hands, cease to be justice and instead become revenge and retaliation.

REFLECT

In what situations do you tend to adopt the mindset of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”?

Describe a time when someone else has shown you mercy or forgiveness instead of retaliating against you.

RESPOND

In this weekend’s sermon, we were challenged to commit to pray for an “enemy.” You may not have an enemy per se (more on that in the next devotional), but write down the name of someone you have a hard time loving. Pray for that person every day this week.

Download Week 3.