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

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

[Jesus continued:] "If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too."
— Matthew 5:40 NLT

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 are redemptive than insisting that our rights are honored in every situation here on earth. His goal is to redeem others through us, not for us to get even with them or even necessarily get what we deserve. Jesus' orientation toward personal rights should not surprise us. He gave up all of his rights and left heaven to redeem us!* (Philippians 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 (Matthew 23:23). 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!

* Paul's quotation of what was probably an early Christian hymn emphasizes this (Philippians 2:5-11) as do John's repeated reminders about what love is (1 John 3:16-18, 4:7-12).
** Jesus' defense of the woman caught in adultery is a memorable one — John 7:53-8:11. Also, see Matthew 12:1-8; Luke 7:36-50, 10:38-42, 20:46-47.

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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Corinthians 6:1-8
  • 1 Peter 2:9
  • 1 Peter 2:20-21


Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Tuesday, March 2, 2021

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"I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will trust in your good name in the presence of your faithful people."
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Illustration of Matthew 5:40 NLT — [Jesus continued:] "If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.