Eye for an Eye


Leviticus 24 includes the famous verses about an eye for an eye.

19 “If anyone injures his neighbor, as he has done it shall be done to him,

20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; whatever injury he has given a person shall be given to him.

21 Whoever kills an animal shall make it good, and whoever kills a person shall be put to death.

22 You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am the Lord your God.”


Justice is blind. It doesn’t matter your family background.

Here’s what Jesus has to say about it. I’m going to skip over some verses.

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Part of being perfect, of being holy, of being set apart, is loving your enemy. There’s an earthly law of justice. But it’s surpassed with the spiritual law of love.

There’s a law that demands our death for our sin. There’s a surpassing law that shows mercy because of God’s steadfast love, which can come into effect because the law that demands wrath was satisfied in Christ.

We’ve been shown mercy. We’ve experienced God’s love. We’ve received forgiveness. We’re to be like Jesus and extend the same to others.

We were once enemies of God, but we’ve become His friends. We can reach out to ones the world calls our enemies and show mercy, show love, offer forgiveness, be reconciled in Christ to God and to each other.