Jesus' next teaching in Matthew (5:38-42) is about retaliation or vengeance and is often misquoted and misused. Jesus was not condoning "eye for eye, and tooth for tooth", he was condemning it. He was continuing to point out in his teachings that the 10 commandments were a minimum. "Thou shalt not kill" was to be interpreted broadly. Taking an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth might not kill someone but it would do grievous harm, and, therefore, should not be done.
The urge to get back at someone is strong within us. The bigger the wrong done to us the more we want to retaliate. We want to make them hurt and suffer as much as we do. But Jesus said to let it go. Instead, do to others what you would want them to do to you. This maxim, he said, sums up the Law and the Prophets - the entire teaching of the Old Testament (Matthew 7:12).
Is this easy to do? Is it natural? No, it is supernatural. We need God's grace to do it.
For reflection: Who am I holding a grudge against today?
Let us pray. "The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). Jesus, I need your grace to see the truth of this situation. I need your grace to see this person, who has hurt me so badly, as you do. Help me to see them through your eyes.
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.