Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 16
January 27, 2008
Lincolnton, N.C.

<410> Thesis: Beware of the "trap" of foolish unbelief. Introduction: In our study last week we saw that Jesus' exhortation to "turn the other cheek" has a fairly narrow "field of application". In His own example, it consisted of refusing to resist governmentally established injustice. When this example is seen in this light, Jesus' exhortation becomes a demand that His disciples refuse to engage in activities of insurrection against governmental authority. Any other "settings" have to take into account the issue of whether "turning the other cheek" would involve the violation of the peace and safety of others for whom one bears responsibility. In that study we also argued that the structure of Jesus' words indicate that He was taking special note of four ways for His disciples to "do good to those who hate them". "Turning the other cheek" was the third of those four ways, following "bless those who curse you" and "pray for those who denigrate you". This morning we come to the fourth way to "do good to those who hate you". It consists of the odd-to-us exhortation to not "withhold your shirt" from one who "would take your coat". But, just as the "turn the other cheek" exhortation had strong overtones of the historical setting with Rome in dominion over Judah, so also does the "withhold not your shirt" have a specific historical setting. And, though specific historical settings for meaning do create limitations of meaning, there is a strong implication by way of application to which we need to give serious thought. To do that we need to understand the words in their historical context...