Did Jesus Really Say That? Well, Slap My Face!

Did God Really Say That About Letting Someone Slap Us? Mt 5:38-48
This is a tricky passage. 

We must handle it with all of Scripture in view.(1)

To prevent excessive punishments, an Old Testament law required an "eye for an eye."

In Matthew 5:38-48, Jesus says that law no longer applies.

Not only should we avoid excessive punishments, we should avoid all forms of personal revenge (Matthew 7:12; Romans 12:19). 

We should pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44).(2)

But we will take this passage too far if we don't see it as part of the whole message of Scripture. 

Jesus isn't telling us to ignore or embrace injustice.

Christians must speak and act against oppression, mistreatment, and injustice (Psalm 82:4; Proverbs 24:11), using appropriate channels (Romans 13:1-5).

We can also speak up when we're mistreated. Jesus did it and so did the Apostle Paul (John 18:22-23; Acts 16:35-37; Acts 23:1-11; Acts 22:25).

Sometimes, however, we should give up our own rights for the sake of our witness or the sake of others (1 Corinthians 6:6-7; Philippians 2:3-4).  

Our sins brought Christ injustice. We can bear "slaps" in His strength (Philippians 4:13).
(1) (2 Timothy 2:15)
(2) Jesus didn’t abolish "the law and the prophets" -Matthew 5:17. He fulfilled the law and took us out from under it's control (Romans 6:14;Galatians 3:11).

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Did God Really Say That About Letting Someone Slap Us? Mt 5:38-48


  1. I think Jesus didn't mean to allow ourselves to be mistreated but was warning us against hasty retaliation. If governments would take His words and apply them, wars would cease.

    1. Perhaps doing this would prevent wars, Cindy, but I think it would also result in bully governments running the world. Even if the whole world was Christian, I doubt it would end wars this side of heaven.

      We are fallen creatures.
      But it's a nice thought.
      God bless you.

  2. It was known in their culture that one act of offense would trigger a 'revenge' act by the one offended, but they also had a tendency to 'one up' each other. "kill my sheep, and I'll kill two of yours." "kill two of my sheep and I'll kill three of yours...etc" It wasn't unusual to see things get well out of control when 'vengeance ' set in. This is why the Lord says..."vengeance is mine. I shall repay." Jesus is the Prince of Peace. We are his ambassadors of peace. Our commission is to love, be merciful and be kind..."as much as lies with in us." Spread love, for "God is love." <3


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