Today's Devotions

11/14 Matthew 5:39

39 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.


Jesus was certainly not a doormat. We even see Him physically oppose evil as He drove out the merchants in the Temple. But when He was physically opposed, He never fought back and rebuked Peter for doing so (John 18:11). He knew that when we fight on the physical plane our efforts are often counter-productive. His words were His weapons. They worked on the mind and heart of man.

He fought on the spiritual plane, and that is where our efforts should be as well. When He healed people of physical afflictions, it was often a case of resisting a spiritual power. The Apostle Paul will tell us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces (Ephesians 6:12). The physical body is just a vehicle for the eternal soul. If we focus on protecting the physical body, we will lose the spiritual battle.

Jesus went on to say that if someone forces you to do or give something, respond generously. This shows that our hearts are not set on things of the earth, but in heaven. To be Kingdom minded is to focus on what is eternal and to put the physical things of this life in their proper place. The body and our possessions are temporary instruments to be wisely used at God's direction. Our natural instinct is to physically resist one who is evil. By not doing so, we surprise them and may win their eternal soul. That is the real victory.

Consider: This is completely contrary to way of the world. That is why it is so powerful. It causes the attacker to feel a sense of shame and guilt which may be his or her first step toward salvation. The spiritually strongest person does not physically fight back.


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