You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”
When a woman in Ohio pepper-sprayed a relative, a judge gave the assailant a choice of two options: be pepper-sprayed herself by her victim (“an eye for an eye”) or spend 30 days in jail. The assailant chose the former—to be pepper-sprayed by her victim in the courtroom. Without the assailant’s knowledge, the judge substituted a harmless saline solution for the pepper spray so as not to cause harm. But the fear factor—and the “eye for an eye” factor—remained.
When the Israelite statute of an “eye for an eye” was instituted (Exodus 21:24-25; Leviticus 24:19-20), the purpose was not to inflict judgment but to protect against overly harsh retaliation. A victim was allowed judgment no greater than his own loss. But Jesus added a kingdom dimension to the statute, saying that retaliation or punishment was not even necessary. Instead, the injured or offended person should “turn the other [cheek],” give more than is taken, and walk the extra mile (Matthew 5:39-42).
If you have been wronged or offended, leave retaliation to God. Live at peace with all men; overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17-21).
Holiness is a Christian’s ornament, and peaceableness is the ornament of holiness.
Luke 7 – 10