Non-Retaliation & Active Love
Matthew 5:38 – 48



  • “An eye for an eye…” – a legal term meant for civil court, not a personal application, to ensure the punishment fits the crime.
  • “Do not resist the one who was evil” – talking about personal vendettas, not civil authority (Romans 13). Talking about being attacked because we follow Jesus (Matthew 5:11).
    • Four Examples: Backhanded slap, legal action, forced labor, borrowing

Love & Prayer for Them

  • The Old Testament never says we should hate our enemies. This was an assumption by Jews in misunderstanding the command to “love your neighbor.”
  • Comparing and contrasting God and us:
    • He makes the sunrise… sends rain. on the evil and the good.
    • You have limited love – love those who love you…greet only your brothers….
  • You, therefore, must be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect.


  1. External Modification vs Internal Transformations. Why is it so much easier to focus on the outside of our lives (obedience, rules, appearance) rather than the internal transformation that is needed?
  2. How is God transforming your thinking to be shaped by his teaching surround an attitude of non-retaliation and loving your enemies?