A Higher Way, Part I

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Matthew 5:38-39

To me, the last verses of Matthew 5 are some of the hardest verses in the entire Bible to live.  But they are also, in my opinion, some of the most important for living our day to day lives.  There is a hymn entitled “Higher Ground,” and this passage reminds me of it: “…my prayer, my aim is higher ground.”  This entire chapter is about the fact that Jesus is bringing a higher righteousness than that of even the Pharisees.  Part of that higher righteousness is living above the law.  Following the letter of the law is one thing, but following the spirit of the law with your heart is another.

Verses 38 and 39 are the classic “turn the other cheek” verses.  The law said “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.”  Jesus said that, instead of seeking revenge, we should be “turning the other cheek.”  We are to meekly and patiently submit to indignity.

Jesus was, of course, our greatest example of this spirit.  On His way to the cross, He suffered every indignity imaginable.  They lied about Him.  They hit Him.  They mocked Him.  They beat Him.  They whipped Him.  They spat upon Him.  They continued to mock Him until the very end.  He could have called on the Angels to destroy them.  He could simply have spoken and destroyed them.  But, He endured it all; meekly and patiently He endured it all.  He even went so far as to pray for His tormentors.

Jesus Christ had a higher righteousness.  That higher righteousness is available to us.  Are we living in that higher way?

4 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks, Ben

    “He endured it all; meekly and patiently He endured it all.”
    What a great example He has laid before us! Sometimes we forget how He suffered for us… thanks for the reminder.


  2. Following the spirit of the law with your heart” . . .That’s my prayer now. Thanks Ben and God bless you as He takes you to higher ground!


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