“Turn the Other Cheek”

“Turn the Other Cheek”

Eye Cheek

What does that mean? Is a follower of Jesus to passively allow an evil person to run over him? Is this talking about not defending yourself when a bully is punching you? How about when a friend of yours, who is being physically abused by her husband, asks you for advice?

If it is in our power to help or protect someone from evil, we should do so. Christ confronted evil and He normally did it in a nonviolent way. In Rom. 12:18 we read, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

The context of Matthew 5 is talking about going way above the norm. For example Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matt 5:38-39).

This phrase “Turn the other cheek” has to do with giving a calm answer to a harsh verbal attack. In other words, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 15:1). I picture starting a fire by rubbing two sticks together. The friction makes heat, starts a fire and both sticks are consumed. When we turn the other cheek we don’t allow ourselves to be the other stick.