What did Jesus mean when He instructed us to turn the other cheek?
QuestionAnswer “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth,'” Jesus says in Matthew 5:38–39. “You have heard that it was stated, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth,'” Jesus says. But I warn you: do not stand up to someone who is bad. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to face them and slap them on the other cheek.” For most of us, the notion of “turning the other cheek” is a tough one to comprehend. Allowing a second slap after getting slapped once is not something that comes easy to most people.
It is not enough to simply adhere to the letter of the law; we must also adhere to the spirit of the law as well.
At the same time, Jesus maintains the “last is first” concept, which serves as the foundation for the kingdom of God.
- A word regarding the “slap” that Jesus says we should expect to get in our lives.
- The slap (or “smiting,” as it is referred to in the King James Version) does not have to be accompanied by real physical violence.
- Did you receive a snub from someone?
- Are you astonished and outraged by this?
- Also, don’t take an offense for an insult.
- The following is an excerpt from Matthew Henry’s commentary on this verse: “For the sake of peace, endure whatever harm that may be endured, entrusting your problems to the care of the Lord.” It comes down to this: Christians must refrain from arguing and straining with one another.
- To be pacifist or to put ourselves or others in risk does not indicate that we are turning the other cheek.
He was not in charge of defining foreign policy for the government, and he was not in charge of overthrowing the legal system.
The past has seen men feel the need to defend their honor against those who have slandered them or otherwise brought disgrace upon their family or reputation.
Swords, rifles, or other weapons were selected, and the two adversaries were ready to engage in combat.
“A man may shoot the guy who invades his character, just as he may shoot the man who wants to break into his house,” argued Samuel Johnson in support of the practice of dueling.
In the end, turning the other cheek would have been a more preferable alternative to battling and would have saved lives.
Turning the other cheek necessitates intervention from on above.
Jesus, of course, was the ultimate example of turning the other cheek since He remained mute in the face of His accusers and did not demand that the people who crucified Him be punished by the angels of God.
His prayer instead was: “Father, pardon them since they do not understand what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Go back to the page with all of the Bible questions. What did Jesus mean when He told us to turn the other cheek when we were beaten?
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What Christians Get Wrong about ‘Turn the Other Cheek’
At first sight, we could conclude that this text teaches us that we are to look the other way no matter what someone does to us. However, this is not the case. Our aggressors are not to be confronted or dealt with in any way. This is completely false and cannot be further from the truth. This scripture does not imply that we should stand by and let others to do anything they want to us. Rather, it is stating that God will take care of the situation. We can discover several instances of what Christians should do when they are wronged in the Bible if we go further into the text.
- His first reaction was to wonder why he had been smacked in the face.
- When Jesus was sentenced to be crucified, according to John 19:3, he was hit in the face for the second time.
- David, according to 1 Samuel 26:9-11, put the punishment of Saul in the hands of the Lord.
- Even a smack in the face is a possibility.
- We have not been entrusted with the responsibility of punishing those who offend us.
- God alone has the authority to punish those who sin; we do not have this authority.
Who Is Saying This?
The life of Jesus has been somewhat exciting up to this point in the Bible’s narrative. He had been put through his paces by the devil himself, had discovered that John the Baptist had been imprisoned, and had established himself in Capernaum as his new home. Jesus starts preaching around Galilee and appoints his twelve followers to assist him. When Jesus ordered the crowds to turn the other cheek, he was lecturing at the renowned Sermon on the Mount, which is still revered today. The Beatitudes are a collection of verses from the Bible that are revered by Christians today.
His message is a call to everyone who hear it to live a moral life.
Photograph courtesy of Getty Images /fizkes
Turning the other cheek – Wikipedia
When it comes to Christian teaching, turning the other cheek is a concept that comes from theSermon on the Mount and refers to responding to damage without retaliation and allowing additional injury to occur.
This verse has been variably interpreted as ordering non-resistance or encouraging Christian pacifism, among other things.
The phrase comes from the Sermon on the Mount, which is included in the New Testament. In the Gospel of Matthewchapter 5, Jesus offers an alternative to the principle of “an eye for an eye”: “An eye for an eye.” “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,” it is said, and you have probably heard it before. 39 But I say to you, do not stand up to the one who is doing you harm. However, if someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to face him on the opposite cheek as well. If anybody were to sue you and take your tunic, he should also be allowed to take your cloak as well.
42 Give to the one who begs for your assistance, and do not refuse to lend to the one who seeks your assistance.
30 Give to everyone who comes to you begging, and do not demand your things back from anybody who snatches them away from you.
In the English Standard Version of the Bible (Luke 6:27–31), Jesus Christ says
Many interpretations have been offered for this sentence, as has been the case with most of Jesus’Sermon on the Mount (Sermon on the Mount).
Christian anarchist interpretation
Several Christian thinkers have advocated Christian anarchism, including Leo Tolstoy, who explained his reasoning in his 1894 book The Kingdom of God Is Within You.
Nonviolent resistance interpretation
The academician Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination, by Walter Wink, reads the text as a call to action to overthrow the power structures of the historical period in which it was written. The practice of hitting a person thought to be of inferior socioeconomic level in the backhand, according to Wink, was a way of demonstrating authority and control at the time of Jesus. A quandary arose when the persecuted person chose to “turn the other cheek”: because the left hand was used for unclean purposes, a back-hand hit on the opposite cheek would not be executed on the victim.
The oppressed was effectively demanding equality when they turned the other cheek.
According to Deuteronomy(24:10–13), the debtor has given the debtor the shirt from his back, which is against the letter of the law in Israel.
Noah’s instance (Genesis 9:20–23) demonstrates that public nudity was considered as imposing disgrace on the audience as well as the nude person, as Wink points out.
The commonly invoked Roman law of Angaria permitted the Roman authorities to demand that inhabitants of occupied territories transport messages and equipment up to a distance of one mile post, but it prohibited the Roman authorities from compelling an individual to travel more than a single mile at the risk of disciplinary action.
According to the nonviolent interpretation, Jesus is criticizing an unfair and despised Roman law while also broadening the message to include teachings that go beyond the boundaries of Jewish tradition.
- Philosophy of brotherly love
- Christian pacifism
- Christian universalism Law on Retaliation
- Explication of the Law If you live by the sword, you will die by the sword
- Matthew 5:29, Matthew 10
- Violence breeds violence
- Law of attraction (New Thought)
- Just war theory
- Matthew 5:29, Matthew 10
- Jim Douglass, Lightning from East to West: Jesus, Gandhi, and the Nuclear Age, 1983, ISBN 0-8245-0587-5
- Jim Douglass, Jesus, Gandhi, and the Nuclear Age, 1983, ISBN 0-8245-0587-5
- Christian Nonviolence
- The Boundaries of “Turn The Other Cheek”
- The Limits of “Turn The Other Cheek”
What Did Jesus Mean When He Said “Turn the Other Cheek”?
Last week, I went on a writing retreat to work on my third Untwisting Scriptures book, which will be titled “Your Words, Your Emotions” and will be released in September. It will address positive issues such as gossip and slander, as well as negative issues such as rage, fear, and humiliation. My aim is that it will be released before the end of 2021! ***** One of the “Untwisting Scriptures” themes I’m well-known for discussing is the subject of relinquishing or yielding your rights in the Bible.
- Beyond the assumption that it is very hard for us to give up our rights, one of the more daring claims I make regarding rights is that Jesus never relinquished His rights.
- I’m quite sure I do.
- It’s the part when you’re supposed to “turn the other cheek.” This is one of a number of Scriptures that have been utilized to maintain oppressed people in their oppressive positions.
- It is the chapter on “Rights, Bitterness, and Taking Up Offenses,” and it is from the first volume of Untwisting Scriptures.
- For those of you who have been hit on the right cheek, make sure you turn to face him on the other.” Some have claimed that Jesus is advocating the surrender of one’s rights in this passage.
- This is the story that is told in John 18:22-23.
“loading=”lazy” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” data-small-file=” src=” alt=”” width=”229″ height=”229″ alt=”” width=”229″ height=”229″” srcset=” 229w,150w,100w” sizes=”(max-width: 229px) 100vw, 229px”>illustration from Fivefold Ministry Ireland srcset=” 229w,150w,100w” sizes=”(max-width: 229px) 100vw, 229px”>illustration from Fivefold Ministry Ireland When he finished speaking these things, one of the policemen standing nearby smacked Jesus on the back of the head with his hand, saying, “Is that how you respond to the high priest?” “If what I said is incorrect, bear testimony to the error; but if what I said is correct, why do you hit me?” Jesus said.
Jesus defended Himself by asserting that He was correct.
However, the “slapping on the cheek” that Jesus alluded to in Matthew 5:39 was not a forceful punch designed to inflict agony on the recipient.
“To hit a person on the right cheek suggested giving someone the back of the hand from a right-handed person during the period of the New Testament.” Not so much the pain as it is the insult that is being referred to in this instance, because it was a figurative manner of insulting someone’s honor.” As if to quietly declare, “I will not retaliate in kind,” turning the other cheek would truly be an act of self-respect on the part of the person.
- “I will demonstrate to this man that I am a person of dignity, and that I am on an equal footing with him.” As an example, when Jesus talked to the officer who had smacked Him across the face, He used a similar tone of voice.
- ***** As I was writing the book, I was concentrating on the theme of rights, thus this conversation came to an end there.
- “Do not despise the one who is evil,” Jesus urged.
- It is possible to be reminded of your dignity when a wicked person slaps you in order to demean you (either physically or verbally), and to respond appropriately.
- Do we have to “protest” everything in order to be considered “progressive”?
- Take a look at these passages from Scripture: When the Lord urges us to put on the entire armor of God, he means that we will be able to endure (same word) and stand firm in the bad day, we should listen.
- — One more time, in 1 Peter 5:9, we are given the same warning: to stand steadfast against the devil’s temptations We are ultimately engaged in a struggle not with flesh and blood, but rather with principalities and powers.
That is a positive development.
That is a positive development.
That, too, is a positive development.
This is accomplished by spiritual warfare prayer, which is carried out under the power of the Holy Spirit.
The goal He set forth for Himself was always to accomplish this.
Despite the fact that He commands us to refrain from resisting evil in this physical realm and warns us that there will be suffering and even death as a result, there are numerous examples in Scripture and from godly Christians throughout history that demonstrate that it is appropriate to protect our lives and flee if at all possible.
Clinton Arnold, general editor,Zondervan Illustrated Bible BackgroundsCommentary(Zondervan, 2002), Volume I, p 104.
Have you ever had to deal with someone who was difficult to deal with, such as a bully, a manipulator, or someone who was simply mean? I’ve coached hundreds of women who have found themselves in these sorts of excruciating situations. Nonetheless, one of the first questions these females will ask me is: Shouldn’t I turn the other cheek when they confront me? Isn’t that how we’re meant to deal with folks who are difficult to deal with? Were you taught that concept when you were a young woman? What percentage of the time do you hear it preached today?
- According to the Bible, this is what Jesus said: “You have heard that it was stated, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'” But I warn you: do not stand up to someone who is bad.
- Taking this verse out of context means that Jesus is suggesting that if someone abuses you, you should simply accept their pain and go on.
- However, we are aware that Jesus is never as shallow as he is sometimes portrayed to be.
- So let’s take a closer look at this.
- By “turning the other cheek,” it is hoped that you would somehow “love” the offended party into realizing their folly in their ways.
- In real life, though, things don’t always turn out the way we want them to.
- act as the greater person.
- Unfortunately, it is just not the how things operate.
- If you want to pretend differently, you’re wasting your time.
- In reality, the commandment to “turn the other cheek” may be one of the most misinterpreted teachings that Jesus ever gave, particularly among women.
Turning the Other Cheek: A Brave Countermove
I believe it is quite crucial to comprehend this text on a more in depth level. When Jesus instructs his followers to “turn the other cheek,” he does not intend for them to encourage further assault. His message is considerably more subversive than that in this instance. It is more accurate to say that to turn the other cheek is a sign of strength in this circumstance. Theologian N.T. Wright delves into this text to reveal a subtle, but important lesson about limits that is contained in it. Here’s what he has to say: For example, “being struck on the right cheek, in that universe, would very probably imply that one had been struck with the back of the right hand.” That is not only violent, but it is also an insult, since it suggests that you are a lower-class person, possibly a slave, a kid, or (in that time and place, and perhaps even now) a female.
- Retaliation merely serves to maintain the evil in circulation.
- When viewed in this sense, the act of turning the other cheek is a courageous counter-measure.
- In reality, it is the polar opposite of that.
- “You will not be able to take away my dignity.” It’s about standing up to bullying from a position of power.
- Consider the following scenario: you maintain your composure, look them directly in the eyes, and state loudly so that everyone can hear, “Is there anything more you want me to know?” In such circumstance, who would be the one who appears to be the fool?
- To remark, “just keep hurting me,” while turning the other cheek, is not an acceptable response.
- It’s a method that Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Instead of retaliating, he bravely maintained his ground in acts of defiance, forcing his adversaries to reveal even more of their actual selves to him.
- Furthermore, it is incredibly effective.
- In this instance, Jesus is demonstrating an extraordinarily powerful method of taking a position.
Essentially, Jesus is saying, “Anchor yourself in the reality of who you are, and the truth of who I am.” Maintain your integrity when it comes to what is right. Actions speak louder than words. That, my friends, is a really effective boundary.
Examples of Turning the Other Cheek
As a first point of clarification, if you are being physically assaulted, please get assistance. Check out the Resources tab of my website for information on various support organizations and crisis hotlines. When faced with more subtle kinds of toxicity, it may be beneficial to practice “turning the other cheek” in order to learn how to deal with them effectively. Here are a few examples on how to do it:
- Simply put, don’t say anything. The absence of a reaction is a potent response. For example, if your spouse attempts to provoke you, maintain your composure and rely on the strength of your quiet. Name what is happening with confidence
- It conveys a great deal of information. To respond to someone who has made an insensitive statement, look them directly in the eyes and say, “That was a terrible comment.” “Is there anything else where that came from?” Make it clear what decision they are making. Saying to your mother-in-law, “Is that truly how you want to talk to me?” is an example of what you could say. It’s not going to hurt anyone if you have a little attitude in your voice.
This method of advocating for oneself is far simpler to say than it is to do. However, it is critical to see the strength in these situations. You are not requesting any further cruelty. Instead, by “turning the other cheek,” you make it quite evident that you are well aware of what is taking place and that you are fully aware of your feelings around it. In some situations, it might be beneficial to think about the bully as if they were a child yourself. (They are behaving in this manner!) They are unable to cause physical harm to you.
- I previously had a customer who was continuously being taken advantage of by a colleague with whom I was working.
- It everything came to a head at some point.
- Nonetheless, he desired to expose everything.
- She helped me to firmly establish myself in the company of trustworthy individuals.
- “I’ll be giving a presentation on my share of it.” Sure enough, the blows began to rain down on us.
- He accused her of being self-centered and dumb, and said that she was incapable of dealing with the situation.
- He completed his sentence and she paused, raised her chin, and, fully disregarding the tantrum she had just seen, calmly repeated her boundaries to him.
“I’ll provide a brief overview of my portion of the presentation.” After that, she turned on her heel and walked away.
He didn’t say sorry, but he never bothered her again after that.
She’d won something far more valuable to her than money.
She realized the satisfaction that comes with finally declaring “Yes, I am worth more” and standing up to a manipulative bully for what she was worth.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to make them comprehend.
When you do this, you establish a line in the sand that says, “You can try, but you can’t cross me.” “I’m sending you out into the wilderness like lambs amid wolves. As a result, be as cunning as snakes while being as harmless as doves.” —Matthew 10:16, New International Version
What Did Jesus Mean When He Said to Turn the Other Cheek (Matthew 5:39)?
Is it possible to understand what Jesus was getting at when He instructed not to resist an evildoer, but instead to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). In Matthew 5:38-41, Jesus makes three bold declarations about himself. In the first instance, He stated that when someone attacks him, he should turn the other cheek. His disciples, He stated in the second place, were to give those who suit them more than they are being asked for. Third, he stated that a person forced by a Roman commander to carry a weight for a distance of one mile should propose to walk two miles rather than one mile.
- Does it imply that we should never defend ourselves when someone assaults us?
- This can’t possibly be what Jesus had in mind.
- Furthermore, He instructed His disciples to take precautionary precautions to protect themselves from harm (Matthew 10:16; Luke 22:36-38).
- On the other hand, when attacked by his opponents, the apostle Paul fought back with a vengeance, claiming his rights as a Roman citizen and made it clear to his assailants that there would be repercussions if his rights were violated (Acts 23:1-3; 25:14-27).
- His three outlandish examples serve to illustrate His argument regarding the attitude we should have toward people who do us harm.
- We must be willing to humble ourselves in order to serve the kingdom of God.
- For centuries, humans have had a natural need to seek emotional pleasure via vengeance for perceived wrongs (Genesis 4:8).
Hence, in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made it very apparent that not only external murder but even interior enmity is susceptible to God’s wrath (Matthew 5:22-23).
Although the “eye for an eye” clause of the Mosaic law has sometimes been misinterpreted as mandating revenge, its true intent was to impose restrictions on it.
The law would not enable the taking of a life as a form of retaliation for an insult or minor damage.
Jesus went well beyond the letter of the law, making it obvious that He was not only advocating for more restraints on retaliatory revenge.
The distinction between addressing wrongdoing and pursuing personal vengeance, as demonstrated above by both Jesus and Paul, is important to understand.
Even while confronting the evil of another, we are expected to love the sinner, but when we seek revenge, we are driven by hatred—a desire to make someone suffer as a result of what they have done to us.
When you turn the other cheek, you are essentially encouraging the bad guys to succeed.
His vivid examples demonstrate to His pupils that they must relinquish any sense of right to personal retribution, and that they must be cleansed of any motive derived from personal vengeance.
By instructing His disciples to turn the other cheek, Jesus was implying that they should be driven by love and a desire for the redemption and forgiveness of those who have wronged them—even when they disagree with their acts.
The Deeper Meaning- “Turn the other cheek”
|“Turn The Other Cheek” (Matthew 5:38-40)Jesus said “When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” Did Jesus mean that we should allow others to bully us? NO! In the culture of Jesus’ day, and in many Eastern Cultures even today, the right hand is considered clean, and is used for ‘clean’ activities, such as eating. The left hand is used for other things, and is considered ‘unclean’. (I won’t elaborate!) When a person struck someone, it was done with the back of their hand. In this case, Jesus is very specific. The person who is struck is hit on their ‘right cheek’. This means that the bully used the back of their right hand to strike. This would be the common method of striking someone, using the ‘clean’ hand. By telling his audience to ‘turn the other cheek’, Jesus was not telling his listeners to be passive. Jesus was telling them not to retaliate by returning violence for violence. Instead, stand your ground and challenge the bully by turning your head and inviting them to strike you on the left cheek, forcing them the use the back of their unclean hand. This would have been an inappropriate use of that left hand according to their culture, and would create a dilemma for the bully. So, you see, Jesus wasn’t telling his listeners, and us, to acquiesce to injustice. Jesus was encouraging us to refuse to cooperate with violence, and to challenge an injustice by using a creative response. Bishop Robert Baron told a story to illustrate this response. Bishop Desmond TuTu of South Africa was walking along a narrow sidewalk, when a white man approached. He told Bishop TuTu, “Get off the sidewalk. I don’t make way for gorillas.” The Bishop quickly moved aside and replied, “I do!” Let’s ponder and pray about Jesus’ words, and how we might respond whenever we have the opportunity to ‘turn the other cheek’ In Christ’s Peace…. Carol MullinsWendy Vania3/16/2021 11:02:52 amThank you for this, it makes so much sense.i knew Jesus didn’t mean for his children to be mere punching bagsBarbara M. Garnaut1/9/2022 09:09:46 amThank you for sharing!Well said and spot on, Wendy.Barbara M. Garnaut1/9/2022 09:07:33 amThank you very much indeed, Carol,Your article has channeled to me the strength and courage of Jesus, His Actual Grace, to stand up to bullying and spiritual abuse precisely where I should and am called to by Jesus to be and to do.Regards.BarbaraRobin1/13/2022 09:52:19 pmSorry.but for me this is cleary not the “deeper meaning” of the words of jesus.jesus words aren’t meant to be some to think about much and undesrtand in complexity and creativity.They are meant to be felt in your heart.Sentences like pray for your enemy are also ones.that show how jesus has not bad intentions for his “enemies”.He even- let them slap the other cheek. No he “gives” it to them.like.i love you. Hear is the other.This is also in my impression with that what he says before the shown quote.He says:”But I tell you, do not resist an evil person”This words are everything but to be clever and offend the other person in any way.to trick them.to be superior in your ideas or anything.It is the absurdity to be so full of loving and taking care.that you even “turn him the other cheek”-“pray for your enemies” dont fight themSofia1/21/2022 10:58:32 amI came to this blog while looking for an explanation I had heard of “turn the other cheek” before, which was not the same as this explanation (it hinges on “Roman slapping etiquette” rather than Eastern hygiene customs). I found the explanation here:According to this explanation, there were differences in the way a Roman soldier would slap an equal as opposed to an inferior person. Equals would be slapped with the palm while second-class people would be backhanded. So if you were backhanded by a Roman soldier, turning the other cheek was essentially a non-violent way of asserting your human dignity. I guess (under this interpretation) it’s kind of like saying “hit me like a man”. It’s refusing to crumple/cower as the oppressor expects, but it is also a kind form of resistance because it challenges him without causing harm to him.
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- Carol Mullins is a Pastoral Associate at the church. Jonathan Molik is the Minister of Youth.
Does ‘Turn the Other Cheek’ Mean ‘Get Walked All Over’?
When people are going through tough situations, I have occasionally heard well-meaning Christians tell them that “this is your cross to carry,” or that “Jesus warned us we would suffer,” or that “you must deny yourself.” Some individuals believe that Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 5:39 is the correct reaction to persons in our life who have wronged or harmed us. Sometimes these well-intentioned individuals encourage us to remain in toxic relationships because, after all, isn’t that what Christ would do?
But does denying oneself and turning the other cheek truly imply that we should continue to put up with harmful relationships and circumstances no matter what?
These four observations may prove useful when considering such topics in the future.
1. There is a difference between laying your life down and someone taking it.
In Scripture, we are instructed to “laid down our lives” for the cause of Christ, as well as to “take up our cross” (1 John 3:16; Matt. 16:24). You’ll note that you’re the active agent in that statement, so pay attention. There is a distinction between freely laying down your life and having your life taken away from you by someone else. Jesus stated that he laid down his life so that he “could take it back again.” In his words, “No one takes anything from me, but I lay it down of my own accord” (John 10:18).
We don’t have to feel sorry for Jesus because he was carrying out his mission, and he was doing it on his terms.
We must be confident that, like Jesus, we are laying down our lives of our own free will and not having them stolen away from us by unscrupulous folks who prey on the weak.
2. We are to pick up our cross, but not every cross.
When Jesus instructs us to pick up our cross on a daily basis, he employs the possessive: it’sourcrosstobeborne (Luke 9:23). What is this cross, exactly? It will very certainly be different for each individual, but you will recognize when it is yours. We are unable to bear every hardship and weight that comes into our path. “For everybody will have to shoulder his or her own weight,” Paul explains to the Galatians (Gal. 6:5). BUT WAIT! Doesn’t the same text from Galatians 6:2 also suggest that we should “carry one another’s burdens” (Gal.
Which one is it, exactly?
As Christians, we are required to discernment, to intelligently choose whether or not such responsibilities are ours to bear.
Are we up to the challenge? Is this the struggle we’re up against? Is it more important for me to become involved to demonstrate love or to make a point? Is it my intention to get engaged in order to assist someone else or my own interests?
3. Jesus set limits and boundaries on his ministry.
There were a lot of people who were disappointed by Jesus; there were a lot of individuals in the rear of the masses who never went near enough to touch the hem of his robe. One particular encounter jumps out: a young man approaches Jesus and asks him to mediate a legal issue between him and his brother. “Man, who appointed me as a judge or arbiter over you?” Jesus asks in response. (See Luke 12:14.) It’s an excellent question. When Jesus was requested to undertake things that were outside of the scope of his ministry, he knew what was being asked of him.
4. You are just one part of the body.
In certain types of churches, two or three persons are responsible for the entirety of the work. The majority of marriages, burials, and hospital visits are often performed by a single pastor. The New Testament, on the other hand, does not provide any evidence for this type of organizational structure, according to my interpretation. Paul refers to the “body of Christ,” of which we are all different “members,” as the “body of Christ.” Weight is distributed over many different parts of the body when someone is carrying a backpack or lifting something heavier than themselves.
- In the same way, you should commit your troubles to the members of your church’s body.
- Assign the task of carrying responsibilities to the members of your congregation.
- Once again, Jesus established boundaries for his work.
- We forget how he managed to get away from the crowds and the hordes.
- No one tried to kill Jesus, and he was not trampled on all over the place.
- It would be beneficial for disciples of Jesus to follow him especially in this area by establishing boundaries.
- You will be able to respond to your emails during the period given.
It is especially important for those of us who are committed to full-time ministry to cultivate the skill of judicious dismissal, of letting people down, and of saying “no” so that we can say “yes” to the fullness of life that is available to us in Christ Jesus.
What Does It Mean to Turn The Other Cheek? — The Rebel Christian
Whether you’re a Christian or not, I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “turn the other cheek.” When I was growing up as an openly Christian, I heard it every other day when students at school would pick on me because of my beliefs and then cry, “Turn the other cheek!” whenever I reacted or threatened to inform the teacher of their actions. It’s perplexing. 99 percent of the people who have cited that scripture to me were not Christian in any manner, and they were not quoting the passage in the proper context of the Bible.
- The expression “turn the other cheek” means something different to different people.
- As Christians, we must make it a point to correctly read the Scriptures; thus, let us go a bit further and gain a better understanding of this passage.
- comes from the book of Matthew 5:39 (and again atLuke 6:29).
- You’ve probably heard the expression, ‘Eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth.
- If someone slaps you on the right cheek, make sure you turn to face them on the opposite cheek as well.
- Turning the other cheek is the polar opposite of the expression “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” Why is it that Jesus is encouraging us to go against all we’ve learned?
- It is a kind of retaliation.
It does not reflect the character of Christ.
When someone wrongs us, we expect that someone will take action to correct the situation.
If we are injured, have our belongings stolen, or have our property harmed, we want the perpetrator to be held accountable.
Our courts refer to it as justice, but in its most basic form, it is known as revenge.
The problem isn’t that we want these things; rather, the problem is that we occasionally seek retribution of our own accord.
Do not be taken in by these con artists.
Jesus did not intend for us to simply sit back and allow others to abuse us badly.
The instruction to not resist a wicked person is given in order to keep the peace with our adversaries.
Even if your supervisor is disrespectful, you should refrain from yelling at him.
When a wicked person attempts to harm you, do not pay attention to them; instead, turn your gaze to God.
It does not imply that you should do nothing or that you should allow yourself to be bullied and overwhelmed.
Instead of telling us to turn the other cheek just to maintain the peace, Christ tells us that it is essential for us as believers to do so because doing so means that you are turning your gaze away from the bad person and onto Jesus.
As soon as you give Jesus control of your difficulty, He takes complete charge of the circumstance.
In Romans 12:17-19 (New International Version), Paul discusses vengeance.
Precautions must be taken to ensure that you do what is proper in everyone’s sight.
It is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” so do not seek vengeance, my dear friends, but rather allow room for God’s wrath.
There will be others who seek to harm you, some of whom will despise you merely because you are a believer in Christ.
He wants to avenge you because you are His child, and He adores you to the fullest extent possible.
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Self-Defense and “Turning the Other Cheek”
It’s difficult to know how to answer to your query without knowing more about the circumstances behind your inquiry. What was it that prompted you to bring this matter to light? Do you have a child who is being bullied at school? If so, you are not alone. Dealing with domestic abuse in your own life, or are you concerned about a threat in your neighborhood or at your place of employment? It would be beneficial if you could provide us with some insight into the context of your misunderstanding.
- It is primarily concerned with the question of personal vengeance or reprisal, rather than with the subject of self defense.
- This verse has been explained in the following ways by notable philosophers throughout the history of Christian theology: Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others.
- However, they should be aware that loving one’s neighbor occasionally necessitates the courage to use force against them.
- As a result, complete non-resistance is not always an absolute norm for living a Christian lifestyle.
- As a general rule, we do not think that children should be forced to stand by silently while other children assault and harm them.
- They should be taught to respond rather than merely react.
- In the event that none of these choices are viable, they should be prepared to protect themselves in the most suitable manner.
- Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to speak with someone from our team about your issues in further detail.
- ResourcesIf a title is presently unavailable via Focus on the Family, we advise you to purchase it from a different store instead.
Christians Should Know the Following Twenty Fundamental Christian Beliefs Every Christian Should Know Mere Christianity Christianity at its most fundamental Understanding What the Bible Teach: The Bible’s Truths Explained in Plain, Simple, and Understandable Terms Referrals Insight for Living is a publication of the Christian Research Institute.
Jesus didn’t “turn the other cheek”—neither should you
What portion of Scripture is the second most misinterpreted scripture in the Bible? (The first is Matthew 7:1’s “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” which is often misquoted by those who are otherwise biblically uneducated or disinterested as a form of pseudo-benediction on moral relativism.) The second is Matthew 5:39, “.if a man strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him on the other cheek as well,” comes in second place in my opinion. Because of a misunderstanding of this verse, public prayers have been said for “our so-called ‘enemies,'” as if Christ and his Church do not have adversaries, both human and spiritual.
- I bring up this challenge not just as a theological dilemma, such as “Did Adam and Eve have navels?” but also as a philosophical conundrum.
- It’s reasonable to wonder, “How can this be?” When the sacred is exchanged for profane, how can it be ethical to “turn the other cheek” and show passive indifference to the situation?
- When does purity become a bargaining chip for perversion?
- When does worship become a form of entertainment?
- When is it appropriate to substitute open-handed charity for the heavy hand of the state?
- Is it our responsibility to remain silent and powerless when the honor of Christ’s Virgin-Bride, the Church, is threatened?
Aquinas refers us to John 18:23, where Jesus rebukes the guard who hit him in the face, while explaining the concept of “turn the other cheek.” He also reminds us of Paul’s thrashing in Acts 16:22, saying, “Christ did not turn the other cheek in this instance, and Paul did not turn the other cheek as well.” So we should not believe that Christ has instructed us to physically turn our physical cheek to someone who has hit us.” When Paul was hit in Acts 23:3, he did not sit silent, but instead warned his assailant of divine justice and punishment.
What is the proper interpretation of the phrase “turn the other cheek” while following in the footsteps of Jesus and the saints?
This is how Aquinas puts it: “To take the commandment of the Sermon on the Mount literally is to misinterpret it.” “This exhortation indicates more the readiness of the spirit to suffer, if necessary, such things and worse without feeling any resentment against the aggressor,” says the author.
- In fact, we must love our adversaries and pray for those who persecute us, as Jesus taught.
- This obligation does not stop us from defending the defenseless, standing up to evil, or promoting the causes Christ has committed to the Church he established.
- That hallowed period is given to us as a type of “boot camp,” and it serves as a yearly reminder that our souls, as well as the souls of all of creation, are at stake.
- That battle, which will have everlasting ramifications, is being fought right now in our own hearts and thoughts.
- As a result of these forces at work around us, we are being seduced or silenced by popular culture, the hubris of the state, pawns and puppets of idols both willing and unwilling to do so, and ultimately, we are being consumed by them.
- Our hearts are calling out for us to recognize clearly who is sitting on the throne of our lives.
- My friends, it is past time for us to wake up and recognize that we are in the midst of a war, and the outlook for the home side does not appear to be promising at the moment.
When I write next, I’ll talk about making the commitment to militant intercession and how to go about it. Until then, let us remember to keep one other in our prayers.
On Turning the Other Cheek (And How It Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means)
“You’ve probably heard the expression, ‘Eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth.'” But I warn you: do not stand up to someone who is bad. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to face them and slap them on the other cheek.” (5:38-39) (Matthew 5:38-39) In just one small segment of the Sermon on the Mount, we have three sayings that are back-to-back, each one succinct and deep, yet so frequently misquoted and misinterpreted by the public. In a recent piece, I looked at the notion of going the extra mile for someone.
First and foremost, we must pay close attention to the text.
It has the word therightcheek in it.
In Jesus’ day and age, right-handedness was assumed to be universal among all individuals.
Consider the following scenario: you are standing in front of a right-handed individual, and he smacks you on the right cheek.
He hits you in the back of the head.
According to the Bava Kamma Mishnah (the traditional Jewish interpretation of the law), a slap resulted in a punishment of 200 silver pieces; however, a backhanded slap resulted in a fine of 400 silver coins, the same amount as the fine for spitting on another person.
It was a humiliating experience.
Consider yourself to be a low-class slave in the ancient Roman Empire.
You have been pushed to the sidelines.
Attempting to flee would be akin to committing suicide.
He wants you to tremble and whimper, then slink off to your tasks as quickly as possible.
Instead, you stare him straight in the eyes and tilt your head to the left, exposing your left cheekbone.
Reading about going the extra mile (and how it isn’t always what you think it is) is a good idea.
And he won’t be able to backhand since your right cheek is facing away from the ball.
And this was definitely not the proper way to smack a slave.
It’s not his choice whether or not to strike you again; he is obligated to raise your status.
This “win” may appear insignificant, but it is not.
Remember what I said about the additional mile?
Furthermore, this is not a cowardly act.
The power dynamic is flipped as a result of this subversive deed.
The tyrannical system has been caught with its trousers down, and it is completely at a loss for what to do next.
It doesn’t matter where you look, there is enough of both beauty and ugly.
There are far too many individuals on the internet right now teaching demonstrators how to demonstrate, despite the fact that they have no intention of attending a demonstration themselves.
Furthermore, it is difficult to be creative for others when you are not in your own environment.
It seems like wherever I turn, there are Black brothers, sisters, and siblings expressing themselves as humans and reminding people that they are more than just numbers.
I sincerely apologize to my Black siblings who were taught that turning the other cheek entails accepting injustice without raising a voice in opposition.
Everyone who grew up in church hearing “turn the other cheek” was taught to be polite, gentle, and shy individuals, and it was intended to do this.
We are unable to reduce these words to anything less than their true meaning.
However, it will not solve the problems of Empire – that cannot be our goal – but it will bring about change, and it will serve as a witness to a Kingdom that is fundamentally different from the Empire, a Kingdom where the poor, oppressed, persecuted, marginalized – and yes, the backhanded – are granted seats at the head table.
The original version of this essay published on coreyfarr.com.