The Bottom Line

SEPTEMBER 21

MATTHEW 7:5_Thou hypocrite…

Jesus knew two things in the incident of the woman taken in adultery. He knew the condition of her heart now, and in her past. He knew the circumstances which led to this incident at this time. We can’t expect our earthly authorities to know all of this, but the Holy Spirit can reveal truth. Besides the fact that He knew her heart, Jesus had the ability to read her heart in her facial expressions and body language. 

There was something else Jesus knew – the hearts of the Scribes and Pharisees who brought her before Him. He knew more about them than they knew about each other, or even about themselves. Remember John 8:5-6 (KJV), “ ‘Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such [adulterers] should be stoned: but what sayest thou?’ This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him …”

Jesus understood the real purpose for the Scribes and Pharisees bringing the woman. It had nothing to do with justice of the Law. It had nothing to do with adultery.  The bottom line was to bring Jesus down. At the time this occurred, Jesus was in the temple teaching. The Pharisees’ goal was to cause Jesus to look ignorant before the multitude of followers who sat at His feet.

If Jesus were a true God-fearing Jew, He would uphold the Law. If He didn’t enforce the Law, then everyone in the temple that day would know Jesus was a heretic.

We’re not finished with this subject yet!

PRAYER

Father God, Help me become discerning of the hearts of others. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

 Christ knows true hearts from false—He helps mine!

Jesus' Input

APRIL 16

MATTHEW 5:39_But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil…

Resist not evil sounds odd. After all, wouldn’t you want to resist evil whenever it came your way?

The word resist here can be translated, to withstand; oppose. Again, that sounds like the right way to handle evil. If evil comes at me, I intend to oppose it. 

So, why is the word not a part of this teaching? Does Jesus say not to fight evil? Let evil have its own way? It could almost sound like Jesus is in favor of evil.  Since that isn’t true, it could only be one thing – scale balancing. Justice and mercy do not balance without Jesus’ input.

If you’ve been treated wrong in a way that is not an actual crime, you won’t run to the court for help. If you are transforming into a salty-lit-up disciple, you’ll run to Jesus for help. He tells you not to plan a revenge plot. Jesus wants you to resist that temptation.

Something just doesn’t seem right. The only way it can be right is if Jesus beats up your enemy, right? That’s how to balance the scales!

So, what would Jesus do?

The answer to that question is phenomenal!!  Jesus transforms the whole revenge thing.    

PRAYER

King of Kings, Please change my heart so it seeks mercy more than revenge. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ balances the heart—He will balance mine!

God's Way, God's Time

APRIL 15

MATTHEW 5:38_Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.

This is a law transformation – big time! The Law said if someone were to blind your eye, you could blind their eye. It also said that if someone were to knock out your tooth, you could knock out their tooth. In the Old Testament this was justice. The truth is, most people like this kind of justice. It satisfies. Nobody gets by with anything. 

If you’ve gained some insights over the past several months, it’s when Jesus begins a teaching with “Ye have heard that it hath been said”—He is about to transform that! 

The Great Balancer wants balance between justice and revenge. There is a place in the world for justice, the judicial system. The Bible says there is only one place for revenge – in God’s hands. Romans 12:19 (KJV), “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.’” 

God only, gets to decide if revenge is appropriate. If so, He carries it out. God carries revenge out in His way, and only His way. He carries it out in His time, and only His time.

Because of hard hearts, it is always best to let God decide how to deal with any kind of revenge.  

PRAYER

Blessed Savior, Help me leave revenge in Your hands. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ balances revenge and mercy—I don’t know how!