Is it a capital offense when someone lies or a man
steals in order to feed his family? The heathen nations were ruled
by callous men and most crimes resulted in death. Under the
leadership of Moses, Jesus gave the nation of Israel criminal laws
that were fair and caused the malicious perpetrator to suffer the
same loss as the injured party. There was no vigilante justice as
all criminal activities were settled within the court system.
When Jesus was incarnated some 1,500 years later, He had no
intention of altering the existing system, but He did want to change
the way people interacted with one another, specifically if someone
slapped you in the face or if you were taken to court by an
Our Lord also knew there would be conflicts among Christians and so
He set up a system to handle such grievances internally within the
church. The sad thing is that many churches are corrupt; money and
influence will determine a church trial, and thus most Christians
cannot settle their disputes in the manner prescribed by Jesus.