Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Commands of Jesus: Hand Over Your Coat

"40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well." - Matthew 5:40

This command of Jesus really goes against our nature as Americans. At least at first blush. Why would we pay someone MORE that what they deserve? Especially if they are suing us?

I think the point Jesus is trying to make here is that we need to examine ourselves, JUST a little deeper that simply the words He spoke.

First, if someone is suing us, we must have done something wrong at least in SOME body's eyes. And if we indeed have done something wrong this command from Jesus begins to make a little more sense than it does on the surface.

If we have indeed wronged someone, Jesus wants us to not only make things right, but to make things REALLY right. It's a way of saying I'm sorry. Simply paying someone the amount they were owed would be "normal." But paying someone TWICE what there were deserving of would make the recipient really take notice.

"Why are you paying me twice as much as the courts awarded me?"

"Because I have done wrong in the eyes of the court and in the eyes of my God. I ask you to accept this extra amount as a means of saying I am sorry.

I this series of commands in Matthew 5 Jesus is desiring for us to look at all these situations with God in mind and with the other person in mind. That brings us to this basic concept of the Christian faith. We are not to be thinking about ourselves in this life. We are to be thinking about God and others before we think about ourselves.

Can you think of an instance where someone, upon winning a court case, has been paid MORE than they were due? Me neither.

Have you heard the story of the northern Indiana pizzeria owner who refused to sell pizza for a same-sex wedding? He was trying to be obedient to his god yet serve the public. He had no problem with selling pizzas to LGBT people. He just didn't want to contribute to a ceremony that contradicted his God. The protests came. He was on the news. This horrible man discriminating against gay people!

He was discriminating against people, he was discriminating against the ceremony. But our media doesn't see things that way. The attack was swift and direct. He paid a price, more than just the loss of this gay couples business. He actually closed the doors of his pizza store to stay true to God's will. And what happened?

Although the owner wasn't seeking anything in this, other than to just operate his business, someone started a crowd-funding campaign on-line for this store owner.

$842,387 was contributed to help this guy after he shut his doors. He has since re-opened his doors. The protests have stopped. Tables are full.

When God provides us with an opportunity to demonstrate our faith, let us not miss that opportunity. Let us stand talk and honor this King whose name we profess. Let us give to others MORE than they are expecting. In doing so, we not only with honor God, but we will be blessed as well.

Indiana Pizzeria Re-Opens

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