A Higher Way, Part II

And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.

Matthew 5:40

This verse continues with Jesus’ theme of a higher righteousness.  This is a tough verse.  It goes against our ingrained human nature.  Human nature is to fight for our possessions and what we own.  We are especially prone to fight for our own interests when  they are being threatened by a lawsuit.

The hardest part about this verse is the fact that it doesn’t say anything about whether or not this is a legitimate lawsuit.  The person in the verse might have been falsely accused of something (can you think of the most famous example of Someone being falsely accused?).  The person might have been accused of something of which he was guilty.  We don’t know.  All we have is the instruction to “let him have thy cloke also.”

I do not profess to understand all about this verse and how it relates to modern lawsuits and the like.  But I do believe that a definite application can be made dealing with us, our possessions and our attitude toward those possessions.

The verse says that, when demanded to give up a possession, we should be willing to give up more than was demanded. Our possessions should not control us.  They should not define us to such an extent that our testimony or witness is hindered by them.  They should not have such a hold on us that we are not readily willing to sacrifice them for the cause of Christ.

While this is a tough verse to follow, it does shed some light on a couple of important principles: meekness and generosity are good things and are becoming to the gospel.  Greed and vengeance are not.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks Ben, I am a recovering materialist! God has really been dealing with me in some of this!


    • I think that we are all recovering materialists. It’s almost ingrained in our society to get as much as possible and hoard all that we get. I know God has had to deal with me about this more than once.


  2. Thank you for helping me take a closer look at this, Ben. This is one of those things, if practiced, that would certainly testify to Him in our lives. God bless you as you follow after Him.


  3. Thanks, Ben

    What Deb said.

    “Human nature is to fight for our possessions and what we own. ”
    Indeed. It does seem we always take the easy way out…The extra mile can be quite the lonely road!



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