The convicted couple threw themselves on the mercy of the court. “We understand our crimes. We promise the court we will reform. No more car-jacking and no more convenience store robberies.” The judge takes pity. “Thirty days and five hundred dollars.” It’s a short time and a small fine.
The Bible makes an interesting statement with regard to courts and judges. “You shall not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (Deuteronomy 19:21). Ouch. When evidence is clear, pity should be in short supply.
The scene shifts. Billy Joe smacks Michael across the cheek. The anger swells. “Not to me you don’t.” Michael’s left cross blackens Billy Joe’s eye.
Jesus makes the counter argument. “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also” (Matthew 5:38-39). It’s easy to misuse directions for the courtroom and apply them to personal relationships.
We turn the Bible upside down. We are wishy-washy in the courtroom and harsh with individuals. It’s the way of the world. The gospel of Christ upends the world (Acts 17:6). We learn lessons of love with friends and enemies (Matthew 5:44).
Click here for a lesson about right-side-up love called, “Love Mercy.”