Practical Proverbial, from Matthew, 18 April 2023. Today’s topic: Kolbe’s Heart

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’   But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.   Matthew 5:38-39

Let’s tackle the first thing Jesus says in this section.   We’ll tackle it this way because, if we don’t, you might walk away thinking Jesus is simply talking about revenge, and that simply isn’t the case.  And, no, Jesus isn’t telling us to do stupid things.  In these first two verses, Jesus is talking about when evil is done to us. 

Have you heard of Maximilian Kolbe?   He was a Polish, Catholic priest who was murdered at Auschwitz in 1941.   Kolbe volunteered to die in the place of another Polish prisoner, who had a wife and children.   Kolbe and nine other men were starved in prison cells for several weeks as punishment for another inmate’s attempted escape.  When he was one of the last inmates still alive, the guards on his cellblock murdered him with an injection of carbolic acid.   When the guards came to execute him, Father Kolbe was found in prayer; he calmly, willingly offered his arm to receive the injection without struggle or resistance.

Did Maximilian Kolbe simply volunteer to die so another might live?  Or, more importantly, did he offer up his heart in submission to God no matter what the consequences would be?

Make no mistake:  in meting out justice, in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, God commanded Israel to take an eye for an eye as recompense for legal crimes.   In Exodus, it concerned a pregnant woman and her unborn child; in Leviticus, murder; in Deuteronomy, malicious or false testimony.  This was not only an edict for ancient Israel.   This was the harsh custom in most ancient cultures (and more than a few in today’s world, especially in Islamic culture).

Yet Jesus spoke of going beyond this.   Instead of pursuing savage legal justice, Jesus urged His followers to act from the heart in submitting to even the most evil of people.   When evil is done to us, we are to trust God that He is the ultimate source of justice, that He will work this for our good (and even the good of the perpetrator), and that His love is both stronger and victorious over even the most heinous evil.  It’s that attitude of the heart that Jesus wanted to inculcate in His followers, and in us.   After all, the best way to defeat evil is through love.

Like Maximilian Kolbe did.   The man he saved survived the camps.  After World War II, he dedicated his life to ministry and making sure people knew about the Godly sacrifice Father Kolbe had made.  Our hearts must be the same.

For more reading:  Exodus 21:24, Leviticus 24:20, Deuteronomy 19:21, Luke 6:29, Romans 12:17-19, 1 Peter 3:9, Matthew 5:40

Lord Jesus, when evil is done to me, help me to act only from Your heart.

Published by aspiringwriterdt

It's about's about the life He gives's about going day by's about you. It's not about me.

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