Sunday, February 19, 2017

I resist the evil ones, I don't give to beggars, can't love some enemies, am terribly shy, and cannot be perfect

This Sunday's reading from Matthew 5:38-48 concludes a four week walk through Matthew 5. Once again, Jesus challenges us to the point where we should realize that try as we might, we are going to need help if we are to see the Kingdom of God.

 “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 the one who is evil.
I resisted an evil one in a blog post. Strike one.
But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.  And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.  And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.  Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. 
I passed a beggar the other day, Strike two.
 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
Does not hating your enemies count? Strike three.
 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
Hey, I went up to a stranger and greeted them yesterday, but he was a brother in Christ so I guess that is strike four.
  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (ESV) 
I guess that counts me out. I don't even belong in the same ballpark with Jesus.

Still, as imperfect a bench warmer as I am, I trust that he will deliver me.

Thanks be to God.

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