What Jesus Says About Adversaries and Solving Conflict - The Sermon on the Mount Series, Part 16

Behold, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves, so be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves. – Matthew 10:16

Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny. - Matthew 5:25, 26

We live in a very competitive world. There are people who will do their best to take advantage of anyone they can. This “adversary” is that kind of person. Sometimes our relationship with these adversaries becomes hostile and they are determined to sue us, or even put us in prison.

The beatitude Jesus would have us apply to our adversaries and enemies is, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” We cannot control other people, but we can make sure that we are not at fault. And we can do our best to quickly resolve a situation and remove ourselves from it, even when we are the ones being wronged.

Paul wrote that in so far as our responsibility goes, we are to live at peace with all men (Romans 12:18). We are not responsible for what other people do, but Jesus encourages us to work for peace, not to work to win.


What does your culture think about conflict and lawsuits? How do these cultural values differ from Jesus’ teaching?

Take a moment to pray, thanking God that He is our advocate. Ask Him to bring peace to any conflict in your life and to give you wisdom to resolve issues quickly.


This post is adapted from a lesson of the Mini Bible College, an online study of the whole Bible. We highly recommend their audio resources and written materials, available in many languages, to anyone who wants a stronger understanding of the Bible.