TITLE: Cheek Turning
DATE: October 13, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: Matthew 16:21 -ESV -21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
Part of Jesus' radical teaching has been His desire for His followers to turn the other cheek.
It sounds great in principle, but anyone who has given it a try or two has found it's mighty hard to do in practice.
The Englishman, Sir Walter Scott had as much difficulty implementing the idea as the rest of us do. That was true until the day came when Jesus' words took on special meaning.
The story begins with Scott being pestered by a stray dog. Having felt he had patiently exhausted all other means to get rid of the mongrel, Scott picked up a rock to throw at the dog with the hope of chasing it away.
His aim was straighter and his delivery stronger than he intended. With William Tell like accuracy, Scott’s stone hit the animal and broke its leg.
Instead of running off, the persistent dog hobbled over to him and licked his hand. Sir Walter never forgot that touching response. He said, "That dog preached the Sermon on the Mount to me as few ministers have ever presented it."
Maybe that's because Scott had never really looked at Jesus. Jesus was no dumb animal that never saw the stones coming. Jesus was God’s Son the Lamb Whose blood would create a new relationship between God and man.
Jesus knew that He was going to die.
Long before He ever went to that last Passover the Christ was fully aware of what was in store for Him. With Divine omniscience He shared with His disciples that He MUST suffer much and that He would be killed.
Now, everybody knows that people's greatest motivation is survival. We will do just about ANYTHING within our power to make sure we survive. The problem is none of us have the ability or strength to hold off the arrival of the grim reaper.
Unlike the rest of us who must eventually go along with life’s flow, Jesus had the limitless power of God. It was within His power to go through those days untouched by humankind’s hatred and unharmed by our murderous attempts on His life.
Incredibly, even though Jesus knew His future fate, even though He had the might to escape that fate and rewrite the history books, He still went to Jerusalem to die for us.
Understand, Jesus didn't "turn the other cheek for you", He died for you! Which leads me to ask: in gratitude and thanksgiving will you not live your life for Him?
THE PRAYER: - Lord Jesus, I have met very few people who, when they were hit, would turn the other cheek. I give thanks that You practiced what You preached. If You hadn't, I would have been lost. Thank You! Now, please teach me to practice what I say I believe. Amen.
he music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along
with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html