Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the Daily Challenges. Yesterday we read the story of Jesus teaching on love.
What would make you give up your coat? In winter? Okay, maybe that would be easy this winter. What about in a cold snap? One of Jesus’ 4 examples illustrating the principle. Not exact prescriptions for the one you face.
But they were meant to illustrate non-retaliation and sacrificial love.
At first glance, you might think they are useless, cowardly, or victimizing principles, but there is more to it.
First, take the most well-known of Jesus’ sayings this week: Turn the other cheek. This didn’t just mean to take abuse. To slap the other cheek means using the back of the hand which would entail double damages. They are now in the wrong. But the disciples forgo their revenge, allowing the other person to condemn themselves.
The opponent could not have claims the man’s coat. Exodus outlawed that since he needed it to sleep. But you give what they are not even entitled to. The person who took both coats would be seen as exploitative and greedy. Humiliation!
The bottom line is, to give extreme generosity when asked.
These are illustrations of a principal, not exact instructions or exact situation. The challenge is to translate please Kingdom principles to our broken world. Not to dismiss them as utopian or impossible.
Jesus himself is best example. He had all the power in the universe, yet he allowed himself to be beaten by humanity. He was stripped of his clothes, and then died on a cross. In all this, he appears weak and powerless, and evil appears to have the upper hand. But in the end, when he rose again from the dead, Jesus won. Evil was humiliated and condemned, not Jesus.
Tomorrow we will try to live this out, but first:
Question: How do you think this looks in practice? How does a Christian show sacrificial love?