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May 18, 2020 2:23 pm
In the merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, Antonio and Bassanio borrow 3000 dockets from Shylock. The agreement is that they will pay no interest. You may remember that you studied this wonderful place called the merchant of Venice agreement was that they would pay no interest. However, if the loan was not repaid. Shylock would be entitled to one pound of flesh from Antonio 1 pound of Antonio/as the story unfolds, the loan is not repaid and there is a court case to determine this, and although Shylock at the court cases offered twice the amount of the loan. He refuses and he insists on this kind of flesh Porsche please with them to display mercy.
Shakespeare captures it so well in these words, the quality of mercy is not strained it drop it as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath it is twice blessed, and blessed him that gives and him that takes.
But in spite of these pleadings by Porsche. Other childlike expend mercy, he insists on his pound of flesh Porsche that undermine Shylock with these words. Therefore, prepare the trick because of the flesh sheds are no blood nor cuts are less nor more, but just a pound of flesh. She says all right if you're insisting on your binder flesh. You can have your binder flesh but be very very careful Shylock. If you exact one drop of blood more or less, and if it is more or less than the kind of flesh, you shall die, and all of your goods be confiscated. Fascinating play written many years ago, but in the merchant of Venice that is a vivid contrast between our legal interpretation of the law and mercy, justice, administered in a legalistic way I will have my point of flesh. In fact, I insist on my part in the flesh.
That is the agreement and were going to stand by it. That is my right or in contrast, there is the beautiful quality of mercy, blessing the one who gives and the one who receives Jesus put it this way. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy master I were you in your dealings with other people you someone is always insisting on your rights what you're entitled to your reputation, your interests, you're very good at protecting your event interests and if the truth be told in your dealings with others is all about you. This is my right. This is what I expect of you. This is what I demands legalistic approach to life or do you display mercy as you deal with others is not a generosity of spirit generosity of your resources or generosity of your time.
In fact, a love for others, including those who mistreat you very convicting to think of this, isn't it. I'm sure all of us would like to think that we are merciful in today's verses will help us as we consider the teaching of our Lord Jesus online once again that to be a follower of Jesus is to be countercultural is to live in a way which is different from the surrounding culture now in the past is never going to read the famous versus even if you don't know your Bible very well, you at least have had some of these in these verses Jesus is not setting out our governments and legal system in administering his laws to protect the citizens that is dull elsewhere in Scripture. What we have here in the magnificent teaching of the settlement on the Mount is hello we relate to others. My personal relationships my personal ethics my values, my standards and how I treat other people. You ready to hear the teaching of Jesus unit is first of all, in Matthew five verses 38 through 42. I know you're at home, but would you read these words are loaded with me since Jesus speaking you've heard that it was said that-I and a tooth for a tooth but I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil.
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 1 mile, go with him 2 miles give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. Matthew five verses 38 through 42. Very convicting versus unfit. What is the basic points you have heard that it was said verse 38 and 94 and I and a tooth for a tooth but I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil. Here is a basic principle. Don't retaliate do not retaliate. Do not resist the one who is able to come to the section of the settlement on the my Jesus uses a formula that we sing several times before, but is what he said you've had that that was sent. He's referring to the interpretation of the Mosaic law by the scribes and the Pharisees and that some of the additional traditions they built up the fact that it was said, Jesus of course knew the law. Not only did you know they Mosaic law to fulfill the Mosaic law perfectly and as we've seen, he is the interpreter of the law. But what was the Old Testament law in this well under the Mosaic law. It was an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Exodus 21 verse 23 here's the Mosaic law, but if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life. I thought I tooth for tooth and forehand foods for foods burden for burn, wound for wound striped for stripe wills of that the biggest 24 verses 17 through 21, and Deuteronomy 19 verse 21. This is called the lex talionis Latin for the law of retaliation and there's a lot of merit in the law of retaliation.
It is the concept that we well know docents practice the day that the punishment fits the crime under the Mosaic law someone takes July. You can take that with only one I someone not to tooth out of your mind. You get a tooth out of their mouth. The lex talionis is one of the most ancient of legal codes. In fact, one of the earliest legal codes is ever been discovered is the code of Hammurabi and Babylon 1800s, bees 1800 years BC so for thousand years ago. I find this intriguing for thousand years ago.
These lawyers, the society revise these laws which preceded the Mosaic law. The court of her modalities stated. For example, if a man destroys the eye of another man. They shall destroy design.
If he breaks a man's bone, they shall break his bone. If a man knocks out a tooth of a man of his own rank, they shall not go to student to our ears.
Initially, these laws seem very hard, very cruel, but think of it, the laws prevented and in part were designed to prevent private vendettas that were designed to stop personal vengeance. The laws also give the judge is a formula for punishment as they were deciding before I these cases and we learned of the time of Jesus 2000 years ago. Monetary values were placed on these matters will be a monetary value placed on the truth or an arm or leg in our society, denied laws were familiar with the laws of damages if you don't work in general arm is broken. There is a certain monetary value placed on that if you're in a car and Jordan George your leg is broken and you take of a driver at fault.
The court and the court will adjudicate on it and say there's a certain volume for a broken leg. You understand that the punishment fits the crime, as it were, Jesus is saying is what you have Jesus saying no to his followers in their personal relationships are not to seek retribution but rather to follow this law of non-retaliation. There's 39 again I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil in our study of Romans some time ago the end of Romans 12, Paul says, don't think vengeance you want to get even with someone, don't do that, leave that to the Lord. Vengeance belongs to the Lord. Now the Lord very helpfully gives us four illustrations of non-retaliation. In verses 39 to 42 is the first one in verse 39. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. I did not practice that this would be buying the playground at school. Someone hit me. I hit them back and hit them back harder.
But Jesus saying don't do that was the point don't retaliate when you're personally insulted all your falsely accused anyone slaps you in the right cheek, turn the other to him that this is referring to a particular insult.
Here is a person who is right-handed and you're in front of them and they slap you on the on your left cheek with her right hand and then as you are staggering from that.
They then take the back of their hand and hit you on your on the right cheek in any society, but only so wrong it's personally insulting his US humiliated by this and now Jesus is saying when someone hit you in the cheek you got to tighten the other than that when someone is insulted you, but absent work in your relationship and your family insulted you. You departure and have turned the other cheek you know that our Savior did Isaiah writes about Mrs. of the Messiah in Isaiah 50 verse six, giving his back to those who strike on my cheeks to those who put like the beard I had not my face from disgrace and and in the New Testament Peter as he thinks of the suffering of our Lord leading up to the cross, writes this about Lord when he was reviled. He did not revile in return when he suffered, he did not threaten and Peter prefaces that by saying that our Savior has left us an example that we should follow in the steps strength under control here is the first illustration then of non-retaliation is already convicting one not respond to personal insults person the other cheek. Here is the second illustration in verse 40 and if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. Second illustration then refers to being sued in court when someone wants to personal property. Following this principle about Lord of non-retaliation. Be prepared, and then situation not to insist on your rights interesting regarding taken people to court.
Paul says, don't take your brother or sister to court in first Corinthians 6 he says, why not rather suffer wrong. Why not rather be defrauded.
That is the spirit of the Lord's teaching here in the sermon on the mind.
The principle of non-retaliation. I've seen and you probably heard as well, but after being part of it.
Is a father or mother or grandfather or grandmother who dies and leaves under state.
Here is a family gathering to decide who's going to get what perhaps of the apartments are perhaps of some paintings, perhaps of some armaments that arguing the show to get each other that insisting that this is mine are being part of that when a practice law and I have seen how wonderful it is for the Christian man for the Christian movement to save you one that go ahead then these situations in order to preserve the unity of the family and in order to follow the teaching of the Lord. There they say go ahead, go ahead and, in other words, they have a right to something, but they relinquish that rights because of the love for the other person is a beautiful thing to see is is the third illustration in verse 41 if anyone forces you to go 1 mile, go with him to miles by going to this is Rome as the occupying power in Rome had the authority to construct to conscript an individual to get that individual to county that military equipment so the armies on the move and that with a lot of things that Kade and they can carry all themselves. And here is an Israelite in the seat you pick up that and follow us. So you would go a mile but humiliating is that the occupiers Jesus said, you know, I want you not just to go mile want you to go the 2nd mile within the human gone the extra mile when someone taking advantage of you, someone's presuming collapse on your generosity and you go the 2nd mile. That's what Jesus is teaching. There's 1/4 illustration which is a tough one for us. Verse 42 give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. The fourth illustration refers to the generosity about possessions. Do you understand that everything your heart belongs to Jesus is or will I work for. Yes he gave you the strength to work for everything you have all of your possessions.
You are to hold her with open hands, Lord gives the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus saying don't be selfish, don't be like the Pharisees and over interpret what Jesus is saying in a legalistic way. He's not saying that if some homeless person comes and you give everything you have to homeless person. After all, he probably may well by drug treatment will buy alcohol.
He made just below its gambling or something is not what Jesus is saying that deeply sensible. You know the spirit of this spirit of this is this when you're in the position to help an individual whose poor's at some disadvantage, and when you're in a position to help that person do it. Not in a legalistic way. Nothing. Well I guess I should help you do it.
Generosity show mercy shall generosity followers of Jesus are to be generous. We were singing about God's grace and God's mercy and of how it is lavished upon this, Paul says it is grace upon grace and a resume redoing for pastors earlier this week we were thinking of Peter's teaching in first Peter one. When is writing to people who are persecuted in the he saying to them grace and peace be multiplied. God's grace never runs out of this grace upon grace upon grace upon grace.
It is rich in mercy, he lavishes his grace upon you. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ, then quit his followers not be generous. How is it then that when they gave the given a legalistic grudging way so that this morning I said well I suppose I gotta give something I don't really feel like it, but you know Scripture tells me to give and so I give no don't do that.
New Testament says when you get a give cheerfully give a abundantly not in a grudging way you generous that generosity overflow to people needs with your time with the resources with your funds. Are you the kind of individual who takes advantage of the generosity of others and sometimes saying that even then the in the Christian community of an individual who sees the church as a way to get money and takes advantage of people. Don't be like that tall. I praise God. The Calvary church is a very generous church, you who are members and attenders of Calvary are very generous people I know that any time as a pastor that stood here in and presented our needs to hear the congregation often been overwhelmed with the generosity of the people that pleases God. We give generously to the Lord and we also give generously to that individual that God brings for your that you give generously to hear the end of the basic points don't retaliate when you're personally insulted to find out. I find the heart by my nature is to head back and head back harder.
Jesus signaled when you insulted do not retaliate.
Secondly, don't insist on your legal rights. Third, go the extra mile. Third, get forth give generously give art of gratitude for all that God has given you. God can give you more and more and more the more you give, often the more the Lord gives us. Blessed are those who give Jesus is more blessed to give than to receive that run through the zone rationalize the teaching unthinkable loopholes. Think of the spirit of it. Jesus is more let's read the thing that was tough teaching mortars to come.
Let's read Matthew 543 through 48. You ready for this.
You've 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 footage love those who love you, what reward do you have, not even the tax collectors do the same. And if you greet only your brothers for more you doing another's. Do not even the Gentiles do the same. You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew five versus 43 through 48 we saw in the preceding verses. The basic principle don't retaliate. Is there more yes doing retaliate but love your enemies, not only I am am I not to retaliate. Jesus think you got to love your enemies, there's 43. You've heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. In the Old Testament there were commandments to love your neighbor, but nowhere did the Mosaic law say to hate your enemy the Israelites as they saw the command to love your neighbor. They probably interpreted this as I am to love my fellow Israelite.
This is my neighbor I'm an Israelite.
I'm surrounded by Israelites and tell her I am to love my Israelites, so the time of Jesus teaching the roses. Jesus is saying that while your you are to love your fellow Israelites you want to hate your enemy. After all, this person is your enemy in the Peter enemy. There's a reason why you may and online to love my fellow Israelites to hate my enemies who are the enemy's will and particularly the Romans. The Romans were the occupying power.
Notice again. The radical teaching of Jesus. Remember he is the fulfillment of the law and he is the interpreter of the law. You've heard it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, here is the voice of authority here is God incarnate. Speaking I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Not only am I to love my neighbor, and not only a minority. My enemy Jesus is commanding me to love my enemy and Dr. pray for those who are persecuting me I'm to pray for those who hate me to play in the first century. For those who want to kill me is what Jesus is saying as it is and he says is easy to love those who love you even even unbelievers do that even the despise the tax collectors do that and that culture the tax collector was regarded as the spies were despicable people. Even the despicable people. Even the thieves, even nasty people love the on the love that one family. The love that on friends and invite their friends over for dinner and they go to their friend's house for dinner and that's the way it works.
He says do not even the Gentiles do the same. The end of verse 47.
Even the pagans love the road but I'm saying to you it's true you to love your neighbor you love your neighbor member.
The mark marvelous portable. Jesus told of the good Samaritan was a lawyer asked a very good question.
As Jesus tells the stories as well is my neighbor. I'm glad that question was asked because Jesus clarifies it.
Your neighbor is anyone in needs who you are able to help your neighbor is anyone who is in need, and you are in a position to help in the parable man is traveling from Jerusalem done to Jericho and on the way he's robbed he's beaten up his laptop is dead on the on the road than the robbers, having stripped them of all of his possessions leave him is a terrible situation. He can't help himself varies lying and a priest comes religious minded. He's walking NT sees the minded just keeps on going.
Here is a Levite another religious man.
He's walking on the same rod end. He sees a wretched man and he takes a look, but he passes by on the other side, they have a policy of non-involvement. This is not my problem someone else's problem, man somebody someone doesn't help them but is not my problem.
I've been a very important appointment dying in Jericho and I'm a very busy man and this man someone else can help her, but not me.
And then Jesus says, a man, whose a Samaritan who really results animosity between the Jew and the Samaritan is a Jew lifetime dead and here's a Samaritan that you would've expected to kept on going. But no, the Samaritan comes, we call them the good Samaritan helps the man to practice the policy of noninvolvement. Close your eyes. Something better your head in the sun.
Someone you know God is put them in front of you and you know they have a need and you, in effect, don't care just don't do that love your neighbor and we are surrounded on three but broken lonely, poor people they are neighbors reach out to them. Don't close your eyes, don't close your heart. Close your wallet.
Reach out to them. Love your neighbor. But Jesus is saying more than the last 44 I say to you, love and peace. Not only am I not to hit my anime I am to love my enemy that requires dozens it the love of God in our hearts and the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Romans what Israel's enemies occupying Israel. The Romans were often brutal and harsh and here is a command to followers of Jesus, you know these Romans. These Romans are treated so badly. These Romans are so arrogant.
These Romans have taken over your government. I want you to love them. I know you know that your enemies. I want you to love your face and then Jesus, the brilliant teacher helps us to understand the citizen think of this.
The dog loves everyone.
God sends the rain in the and the sun on the evil and the goat on the just and the unjust today and Charlie weave a beautiful sunny day. It is so wonderful day and that son comes done on everyone in Charlotte becomes done on the best of people and comes dying on the worst of people that nasty despicable character that you don't like. He receives the sun Tuesday and Wednesday were told that rain will come. I love the rain and the rain will come in the rain also comes done on the good and the evil you see guards remember as a guards who loved you when you what is enemies and the dog commences love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us and says Jesus never you are demonstrating that your son so the of your father in heaven. When you love your enemies, your father does that. I want you to do that you are his followers. You are the sons of God's show the character of God love your enemies ask you to you in your life. I don't mean someone out there to kill you. Is there someone there who has really hurt you.
Some individuals you really detest some individual when you think of them. It brings bitterness and that might even be hates and you certainly despise that person and you certainly want nothing to do with them and quite honestly, you rejoice and something bad happened to them. You would say they deserve that previous boss at work treated you badly might be a business partner you wanted to business and to give us a lot of money over this person and they defrauded you and they left you sure took a lot of money is never deal with that individual again II really hate them could be a family member could be a former husband and wife could be your own father could be your child could be a brother or sister or someone that you hate usage on they have the wrong tomatoes are thereby other seriously wrong native abuse might've taken advantage of me understand understand your enemy are not disputing the fact that they have wronged you are not disputing the fact that they are your enemy.
What Jesus is saying to you and to me. I want you to love the person I want you to love your enemies, not only are you not to seek vengeance on them. You are to love Abraham Lincoln said the best way to destroy your enemy is to make them your friends was that works in politics. Sometimes the love the power of love can come that anime into a friend and a great way to begin to love your enemies given by Jesus loves eventually for prey for those who persecute you never prayed for the never prayed for that person that anime by me bringing a little brother. Perhaps even more convicting other groups of people that you hate group of people that you despise using your superior to them.
You dislike your prejudiced against them is of what you been John. I've met people who just so I don't like these Hispanics. I don't like these immigrants. I am an immigrant. These people you sometimes can't understand them, remember when we first came to United States in my life was still learning English and were in Texas and some people difficulty understanding her.
That's not their fault necessarily with difficulty understanding then they speak a kind of a strange English in Texas as well and communication was difficult.
I understand that is not a problem we can both improve but some of them quite mean made nasty comments like that were about your view of African-Americans you just think you're better than them.
You despise them to make terrible jokes about him. Honestly, you're a racist but true view while the people from the north, here we are in the sun to have people sick with these terrible Northerners. These these Yankees.
I'm thinking of leaving the United States. When I first came to the US friends of ours at seven or invite us to their home and hid this beautiful tapestry and that some words on it and remembered my schoolboy laughingly was a Pluto goes which was the original module of the I do say so I said to my friend you know what that means, he said, honestly John that I will never notice that I said that's the motto originally of the United States of that was changed sometime ago doing God we trust. What a beautiful model out of many, one many different countries many different nationalities many different colors of skin, United States informing one nation of Americans wonderful concept.
This worked to some extent, but how much more work with to do what the church is e pluribus unum.
Think of Calvary church. People from all over the world with different accents, different colors of skin, different nationalities, all coming together as the one people of God and the blood of Jesus Christ, which cleanse me of all of my sin is the same blood that cleanses you of all of your sin of the Holy Spirit who indwells me as a whole. Same Holy Spirit who indwells you and so we are to love one another and says Jesus you're also to love your enemies, or don't know what that means in your life. I don't know if your prejudiced but after prejudiced against white Caucasians. I don't know. All I know is human nature to be very prejudiced. We can hook people we can make jokes we can make stereotypes and think of the injustice in this country again. Some immigrants get some African-American going for a run and being confronted by people who perhaps didn't like the color of his skin. I don't know all the details when I was a little boy. We were taught the quotas Jesus loves the little children all the children of the world red and yellow black-and-white. All are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the of the world. I thought this morning might sing it but my thoughts a bit off as my excuse you when we learned that I had never seen a black person in my life I've never seen someone who was yellow or brown on red. I was surrounded by white people. But I'm really thankful that the Sunday school teachers were teaching us something that we need to grasp that Jesus loves everyone on the love of God embraces the whole world, and it embraces you and you did not choose your ethnicity.
You did not choose the color of your skin, and neither did I, but we are all who love Christ will his followers, and Jesus is saying whatever that enemy is. I don't know what the enemy is in your life. I know those who have mistreated me and I know what I am to do according to the teaching of Jesus. You are to love your opportunity to repent of some hate in your life. Perhaps before God. You got to admit that you are really a racist, but your prejudiced praise God when we were his enemies. Christ died for us.
What a transformation it would be in Charlotte with wide transformation in the Carolinas. If we love not only neighbors by enemies in this week I want you to reach out to neighbor a great opportunity with Corbett 19 want you to reach out to that enemy will you pray for those who've hurt to have persecuted you groove hated you who have mistreated you who have abused you. Yes, this is counter cultural living for those who are in the kingdom of God and it is being like God the dunes. The last verse, verse 48 you, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Standard is what perfect means to be complete to be mature to be like God to the flag for the very character of God.
You see who can attain that standard. This is the transformation of the gospel, the more I follow Jesus Christ and the closer I am to my Savior, and the moral order with humility and with trust. I will be his teaching. The more I will become like Jesus. That's the point to be like him to be like God's. Paul puts it this way have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, the Prince to verse five he puts it again this way in Ephesians 5 when into therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children and walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us. First John four verse seven beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. You get the points that we who have been saved by the grace of God I have been transformed by the mighty power of the gospel in our lives that we are no becoming more and more like Jesus. As we yield to the Holy Spirit as we turn from our sin as we obey this teaching as I don't retaliate as I love my neighbor as I love my handyman becoming more and more like Jesus be perfect, as your heavenly father. That's radical teaching is used to John John II come short. Yes you do.
I come short sing to today.
Jesus is saying to you don't retaliate, love your enemies. This can never be achieved in our own strength. This is not the way of salvation.
No no no no no this is not saying if you love your enemy are going to be said no. He said because you are saved because you receive the love of God because your sins have been forgiven because you been filled with the Holy Spirit. This is the way that you should love one my favorite verses is Romans five verse five where Paul says that God's love think of God's love is infinite God's love is poured into your heart through the Holy Spirit is been given to us amazing that God's love and love of God by the power of the Holy Spirit is being poured into my heart is a prayer for you every day.
Fill me with your love Lord poured that love into my heart and to replace that bitterness that hates that prejudice that racism give me that love, the love of God and when we do so we are reflecting the very character of God would being like Jesus when Jesus was being crucified by evil man. What did he say father forgive them for they know no quotes. Of course Jesus perfectly fulfilled his own teaching. Plumber puts it this way very well to return evil for good is devilish to return good for good instrument to return good for evil is divine.
I like to return evil for good is devilish never do that to return good for good instrument is a good thing to know, but to the time good for evil is divine. That's what Jesus is saying return goods for evil.
This is Christ's call on us to his followers put in the kingdom of God.
This is the righteousness which exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and the fighters. This is loving your neighbor loving face eternal God heavenly father stands under this teaching of the Lord, we thank you for thank you for its clarity Bulova stands condemned so we thank you for your grace. We thank you that your God who forgives no return of that we come from the sins we repent of that we confess them. Our hearts even though many will be confessing the sentence. We thank you for the blood of Jesus which cleanses us from all of our sin, which makes us whiter than snow.
Fill us with your spirit father continued to report that love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that you've given us that we truly will make a difference not only loving our neighbor as ourselves, but loving our enemies so we are like our Savior, strengthen, diagnose and bless us. We ask in Christ