a look at matthew 5:39-40

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 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.

jesus, throughout these chapters, is giving illustrations, not rules.

he is presenting illustrations of how a person with a “kingdom heart” will likely respond in certain situations.

i’ll preface by saying, though, that in this one (turn the other cheek), there is no admonition to ever *ever* turn someone else’s cheek.

to idly stand by and allow another of god’s children to come to harm through inaction is sin, be they your family, or someone you don’t know.

now, when it comes to turning your own cheek:

remember, jesus is talking here about how a person living in the kingdom of god goes about life. he’s talking about people who have turned away from anger, contempt and lust.

he’s talking about people who are truly always more interested in their brother’s welfare than their own.

he means, quite literally, to actually present your other cheek to an attacker, whether they are attacking with words or with physical blows.

he’s referring to remaining vulnerable, open and not responding to evil with evil, in an attempt to win your adversary to the kingdom.

what harm can come to you?

if your adversary is intent upon killing you, you are already living in the eternal kingdom!

more likely, though, if you practice turning the other cheek, anyone who may have a gripe with you will never get to the point of wishing to actually strike you, because all along you’ve been looking out for *his* best interests, in loving him into the kingdom the way jesus would.

responding to his verbal blows with grace and love will likely diffuse the situation so that it won’t become physical.

and even if it does: this universe you inhabit is perfectly safe, because your father in heaven is looking out for you.

even if god allows your adversary to harm your body, praise god! you have loved and grown in the kingdom, and one day will understand all this.

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