Saturday, April 21, 2007

Radical Love!

Whoever slaps… your right cheek, turn the other to him also." Matthew 5:39 NAS

The disciples lived in a culture that encouraged revenge and defending male honour. Back then, a slap in the face was considered the ultimate humiliation. Now Jesus is saying, "Whoever slaps… your right cheek, turn the other to him also." Can you imagine how they felt? Probably like you're feeling right now! Even today when we're insulted we refer to it as "a slap in the face." The adrenaline starts pumping and anger takes over. After all, our reputation's at stake! But just when we've built up a head of steam along comes Jesus and He says, "Don't hit back… If someone strikes you, stand there and take it" (TM). Hey, what's wrong with this picture? This kind of radical love sees people through God's eyes. Jesus practiced it by refusing to retaliate even though He had the right and the power to do it. As they hammered the nails into His hands and feet He prayed, "Father, forgive them; they don't know what they're doing" (Luke 23:34 TM). When the captain of the Roman soldiers handling His execution saw what happened he praised God and said, "Certainly this was a righteous man" (Luke 23:47). This hardened military officer didn't hear some cold theology. No, he was moved by the force of Christ's love.

Understand this clearly - your enemies matter to God! God is looking for somebody through whom He can love them. Will you be the one He uses? Are you willing to turn the other cheek? If you are, you'll have a truly life-changing experience.