Matthew 5:38-42
The Definition of Discipleship

Matthew 5:38-42

 The Principle of Retaliation (v.38)

“You have heard it said…”

1. Retribution  2. Retaliation


“...but I tell you…”

1. Do not resist.  2. Do not revenge.


The Principle of Righteousness (vv. 39-42)

  1. A slap in the face…turn the other cheek.
  2. A lawsuit…offer your cloak.
  3. Forced service…go the extra mile.
  4. Loaning money…do not turn them away.


More to Consider

This is the standard which Jesus asks, and it is the standard which he himself fulfilled. It had been written of him in Old Testament Scripture: ‘I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting.’ And in the event first the Jewish police spat on him, blindfolded him and struck him in the face, and then the Roman soldiers followed suit. They crowned him with thorns, clothed him in the imperial purple, invested him with a sceptre of reed, jeered at him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews,’ knelt before him in mock homage, spat in his face and struck him with their hands. And Jesus, with the infinite dignity of self-control and love, held his peace. He demonstrated his total refusal to retaliate by allowing them to continue their cruel mockery until they had finished.   John Stott

When he was an attorney, Abraham Lincoln was once approached by a man who passionately insisted on bringing a suit for $2.50 against an impoverished debtor. Lincoln tried to discourage him, but the man was bent on revenge. When he saw that the man would not be but off, Lincoln agreed to take the case and asked for a legal fee of $10, which the plaintiff paid. Lincoln then gave half the money to the defendant, who willingly confessed to the debt and paid the $2.50! But even more amazing than Lincoln's ingenuous settlement was the fact that the irate plaintiff was satisfied with it    Daily Walk, May 22, 1992.

The most important element in this passage is the strategy that moves from negativism to a positive course of action. The disciple is to be free for God and for his fellow man who needs him. Turning the other cheek is not a surrender but a strategy of operation. This act is to take the initiative in behaving in the freedom of Christ and His love.   Myron S. Augsburger