About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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I’ve Been Robbed


A couple weeks back my friend was robbed of her wallet.  Soon after she read, “if someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic”. (Luke 6:29)  Once reading Jesus’ words she wondered if she did the right thing by calling the police.  Maybe she should have asked the police to find the thief so she could invite him over to rob her replacement credit cards as well.


I think some of us have struggled over the meaning of Jesus’ words.  I might be able to shed a little light on this question.  There’s actually two issues to consider.  There’s the matter of not repaying evil with evil and there’s the matter of justice.  Both are equally important to this discussion.


Paul, in Romans 12:19 says, “do not take revenge …  but leave room for God’s wrath, as it is written, ‘it is mine to avenge, I will repay’, says the Lord”.   So it’s clear that we don’t repay evil with evil.  The reason for this is because Jesus will do that.  That is what the phrase “leave room for God’s wrath” means. If you read the Book of Revelation, you’ll see He does a pretty drastic job of avenging evil directed to both Him and us.  So if someone robs you or does anything evil to you, don’t return the favour. 


We can see this worked out in Rev. 6:9-16.  Those saints who had been murdered for following Jesus cried out, “how long, Sovereign Lord … until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood”?   They were told to wait a little longer until more Christians would be murdered for their faith.  Once those Christians were killed Jesus would avenge the blood of these martyrs, and the sight of this avenging sure isn’t pretty. As a matter of fact, from a human standpoint one might consider Jesus’ judgments overkill.    


Yet our passive reaction to evil done to us is balanced with an active reaction which concerns the matter of justice.  God is just. It’s part of who He is.  Justice matters to God more than we can know.  The cross itself is just as much a demonstration of justice as it is a demonstration of love.  God showed love towards us by setting us free from the penalty of our sin.  Killing Jesus instead of us, as hard as that must have been for God, satisfied God’s demand for justice.  We experienced love, while Jesus experienced brutal but suitable justice.


God’s justice is also seen in the Book of Revelation when He judges the earth and its inhabitants with unimaginable calamities.  There’s no doubt in my mind after reading this account that justice matters to God, and if it matters to Him, it should matter to us.  We therefore need to always stand on the side of justice, no matter how hard that may be at times. 


It’s also my thinking that love and justice should be in equal balance.  One does not outweigh the other.  Love does not repay evil with evil, yet justice allows the civil authority to catch the criminal and carry out suitable justice.  That’s their job according to Paul. (Rom 13:1-5)  When love and justice get out of balance in the individual, the church, and in society  things go wrong. History has lots of examples of this.  


In conclusion, we always support any matter concerning justice, and we do not repay any evil done towards us with evil.  Jesus will do the punishing.  It’s therefore well within our right as a Christians to ask the authorities to carry out suitable justice on our behalf, as long as our motivation is not based on revenge.   So there wasn’t anything wrong with my friend calling the police when she was robbed.   

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