Druhá míle – radikální láska
· Jakými chceme být křes’tany?
· Jaká je naše víra a důvěra v Boha? Jsme pouze křesťany slov?
· Jak daleko jsme ochotní v našem křesťanství jít?
· Jak radikální ve své lásce dokážeme být?
· Jsme pouze miminka? Děti? Dospívající? Nebo zralí a dospělí ve víře?
& Matouš 5:38-42
Matouš 5:38 Slyšeli jste, že bylo řečeno: `Oko za oko, zub za zub´. 39 Já však vám pravím, abyste se zlým nejednali jako on s vámi; ale kdo tě uhodí do pravé tváře, nastav mu i druhou; 40 a tomu, kdo by se chtěl s tebou soudit o košili, nech i svůj plášť. 41 Kdo tě donutí k službě na jednu míli, jdi s ním dvě. 42 Kdo tě prosí, tomu dej, a kdo si chce od tebe vypůjčit, od toho se neodvracej.
43 Slyšeli jste, že bylo řečeno: `Milovati budeš bližního svého a nenávidět nepřítele svého.´ 44 Já však pravím: Milujte své nepřátele a modlete se za ty, kdo vás pronásledují, 45 abyste byli syny nebeského Otce; protože on dává svému slunci svítit na zlé i dobré a déšť posílá na spravedlivé i nespravedlivé. 46 Budete-li milovat ty, kdo milují vás, jaká vás čeká odměna? Což i celníci nečiní totéž? 47 A jestliže zdravíte jenom své bratry, co činíte zvláštního? Což i pohané nečiní totéž? 48 Buďte tedy dokonalí, jako je dokonalý váš nebeský Otec.
J Like the old fellow prayed, “God bless me, my wife, my son John, and his wife, us four, and no more.” Limited love.
§ If babies scream to get attention; if children punch each other out, trying to achieve justice; if adolescents love only those who love them; none of these work. None of these achieve anything. None of these deal with the ills unlimited of this world. So what else is there? What else but the way of unlimited love?
Jesus was saying "take the insult and ask for more." This is in contrast to the latter Rabbinic ruling in the Talmud:
"Does he give him a blow upon the cheek? Let him give two hundred zuzees; if with the other hand, let him give four hundred."
A. Don’t you get the feeling that there are times when Jesus intentionally shocked his audience? I think He knew that an effective teaching tool was to say something so revolutionary that the audience was instantly shocked to attention. As a result, they listened carefully & never forget what was said.
I think that was what He was doing here. He is saying, "Now you’ve learned some things about love, & you’re beginning to put them into practice, seeing how they work. But I want us to stop talking about common or traditional love. Instead, let’s talk about radical love, love that loves completely, & never holds back."
§ And they’re arguing about some changes Herod wants to make in the Welfare program. And there you are, standing on the outskirts of their circle, listening to it all. Then someone turns to you & asks, "What do you think?" So you begin to express your opinion.
But as you talk you become aware of a man whose face is getting redder & becoming more & more angry as he listens to your comments. Finally, he steps up right in front of you & says, "That is the stupidest reasoning I’ve ever heard in my life." Then he hits you.
What are you going to do? The Law says, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." The Law entitles you to hit him back.
§ But Jesus says, "Don’t retaliate in kind. Rather, turn the other cheek, because I am not talking about common or average love. I’m talking about love that goes the limit. I’m talking about love that gives. I’m talking about love that loves so much that it will not retaliate when it is persecuted."
§ You have to understand a little bit about the Jewish wardrobe to understand this story. You see, the Jew who lived in Jerusalem had a standard wardrobe.
First of all, he had several tunics, or undergarments, made of a soft material that was pleasant to the skin. But usually, he had only one outer garment, his cloak. It was made out of heavy material & was a very important piece of clothing to him. Not only was it his coat, it was also his blanket at night. It kept him warm & protected him from the elements.
In fact, so vital to him was his cloak that there had been laws written that said that you can’t sue a man for his cloak. You can sue him for his tunic, because he has more of those. But you can’t take away his cloak because then he would be cold & unprotected. And we don’t treat people like that. So the law said that all he had to surrender was his tunic.
& Exodus 22:25-26
25 Jestliže se rozhodneš vzít do zástavy plášť svého bližního, do západu slunce mu jej vrátíš, 26 neboť jeho plášť, kterým si chrání tělo, je jeho jedinou přikrývkou. V čem by spal? Stane se, že bude ke mně úpět a já ho vyslyším, poněvadž jsem milostivý.
But Jesus said, "Let’s suppose that you have made a deal. But something goes wrong, & a payment comes due & you don’t have the money. So he hires a lawyer & sues you for your tunic. You go to him & say, "To show you that I am a man of integrity, to show you how concerned I am that I’m not able to meet my obligations, I’ll not only give you my tunic, I’ll give you my cloak, too. I’ll give it all."
§ And again, you have to understand the background. Whenever the Roman Empire conquered a town, a Roman yoke was put in the market place or in the principal gate of the city. Sometimes they made everybody pass under it; sometimes just their leaders, thus promising that to the Roman Empire they would give obeisance, obedience, tribute, & many other things.
One of the "other things" was this: Whenever a Roman soldier or official wanted you to carry his pack for a mile, or run an errand for a mail, or guide him for a mile, you had to drop everything & do it. It was a Roman law. Well, this was a most humiliating experience for the Jews, for as Moses said, "these are a stiff?necked & proud people."
We are also told that Roman Law stipulated that except in an emergency no one would be required to go farther than a mile. I’ve also read that as a result, every Jew who lived in the country had marked off a mile each way on the road from his house & had driven a peg down to mark that spot exactly.
Now, with that in mind, look at this group standing around Jesus. They’re listening intently, marveling at the way Jesus is pronouncing these great truths. Then suddenly into their midst He drops this bomb, "If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles."
I can see them clench their fists, nudge the man next to them, shake their heads, & look at Jesus in astonishment. "Is He saying that He approves of the Roman occupation of our country? Is He teaching that we should willingly obey when we are made to go even one mile? What in the world is the matter with Jesus? Nothing that Jesus had ever said before had shocked them as much!
APPL. I think that Jesus deliberately made that obnoxious Roman rule a carrier for a great principle of life, & it would be tragic if we missed His message & failed to apply it to our lives, too.
So what is Jesus saying? What does He expect of us? I am convinced that Jesus expects His followers to be the kind of people who will do more than we are required to do, more than anyone expect. And to do it with love.
SUM. Jesus is saying, "What I am trying to illustrate here is radical love. I’m trying to show you how radical love behaves. It does the unusual. It does the extraordinary. It goes the second mile."
ILL. One of the most moving stories in all of scripture is the story of the hard, callused Roman Centurion standing at the foot of the cross. He has studied Jesus now for several hours. He watched Him when He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. He saw Him as He stood before Pilate. He watched them mock Him as they put a crown of thorns on His head & a reed in His hand, & a purple robe on His shoulders.
He listened to the insulting remarks that were given again & again. He watched Jesus being beaten with a cat-o-nine tails. He watched carefully as Jesus carried His cross, & when the nails were driven into His hands & feet. He heard Jesus cry out, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing." And he watched as Jesus breathed His last breath. Then that hard, callused Roman Centurion said, "Truly, this was the Son of God."
He said that because Jesus turned the other cheek. He said that because when they stripped Him of His robe, Jesus didn’t retaliate.
The Roman Centurion didn’t realize it, but on the cross, Jesus went the second mile. The law of the sin offering required the sacrifice of an animal. But Jesus went beyond that law, & offered Himself as the sacrifice for sin. Now that is radical love!