What Jesus Did! 'Lost My Shirt' — Matthew 5:40

Thursday, March 2, 2017

"If a person wants to sue you in court and take your shirt, then let him have your coat too."
— Matthew 5:40
Illustration of Matthew 5:40 — "If a person wants to sue you in court and take your shirt, then let him have your coat too."

Key Thought

We have basic rights—at least that's the assumption many of us operate under as human beings. We get very angry when those basic rights are compromised. Jesus, however, is more concerned that we be redemptively right than he is with our insisting that our rights are honored in every situation here on earth. His goal is to redeem others through us, not to get even with them. Jesus' orientation toward personal rights should not surprise us. He gave up all of his rights and left heaven to redeem us! (Phil. 2:5-11). On the other hand, Jesus staunchly defended the rights of others when those in charge tried to take those rights away from them. Why? Jesus' primary concern was to redeem and bless all people. He now wants us to do the same. The goal of our behavior is to be redemptive to others whether it is our rights or theirs that have been violated!

Today's Prayer

Almighty and compassionate Father, give me less passion for my own rights and greater passion to defend the rights of others who are being abused and exploited. Give me a sensitive heart to see beyond the things done to me that are wrong so that I may see the wrong in the hearts of others and influence them to come closer to you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, don't stand against an evil person. If someone hits you on the right cheek, then turn and let him hit the other cheek too. If a person wants to sue you in court and take your shirt, then let him have your coat too. If a soldier forces you to walk with him one mile, then go with him two miles. If a person asks you for something, then give it to him. Don't refuse to give to a person that wants to borrow from you. "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those people that do bad things to you. If you do this, then you will be true sons of your Father in heaven. Your Father lets the sun rise for the good people and the bad people. Your Father sends rain to people that do good and to people that do wrong. If you love only the people that love you, then you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are nice only to your friends, then you are no better than other people. Even the people without God are nice to their friends. So you must be perfect, the same as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 5:38-48

Related Scripture Readings

When one of you has something against another person, why do you go to {the judges in the law courts}? Those people are not right with God. So why do you let those people decide who is right? You should be ashamed! Why don't you let God's people decide who is right? Surely you know that God's people will judge the world. So if you will judge the world, then surely you are able to judge small things {like this}. You know that in the future we will judge angels. So surely we can judge things in this life. So if you have those disagreements that must be judged, why do you take those things to people who are not part of the church? Those people mean nothing to the church. I say this to shame you. Surely there is some person in your group wise enough to judge a complaint between two brothers (believers)! But now one brother goes to court against another brother. You let men that are not believers judge their case! The lawsuits that you have against each other show that you are already defeated. It would be better for you to let someone do wrong against you! It would be better for you to let someone cheat you! But you yourselves do wrong and cheat! And you do this to other believers {in Christ}!

1 Corinthians 6:1-8

But you are chosen people. You are the King's priests. You are a holy nation of people. You are people who belong to God. God chose you to tell about the wonderful things he has done. He called (brought) you out of darkness (sin) into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2:9

But if you are punished for doing wrong, there is no reason to praise you for bearing that punishment. But if you suffer for doing good, and you are patient, then that pleases God. That is what you were called to do. Christ gave you an example to follow. You should do the same as he did. {You should be patient when you suffer,} because Christ suffered for you.

1 Peter 2:20-21

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.