by Tony Nester

Turn The Other Cheek
Pastor Tony R. Nester
Matthew 5:38-42

Matthew 5:38-42 NRSV) ""You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' {39} But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; {40} and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; {41} and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. {42} Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you."

Jesus wants his followers to give the world better than it deserves. Turning the other cheek means introducing the grace of God into a situation where others expect only retaliation and revenge.

"Turn the other cheek" is one of the more well known sayings of Jesus, but also one of the most frequently misunderstood. Does Jesus want us to act like cowards when people strike out against us? Are we to take abuse lying down? Are we to let those who have wronged us to go free so they can harm others? Are we supposed to disarm our police and unilaterally disarm our military even though there are innocent people who deserve our protection?

These are strange words, indeed! What is Jesus asking of us when he tells us to turn the other cheek?

We tell jokes about turning the other cheek. Have you heard the one about the winning Irish boxer who got converted and became an evangelist? He was setting up his revival tent when some young hoodlums came by and began heckling him. They got in his face. They insulted him. He ignored them. That only made them bolder and one of them hit him with a hard blow to the face. This boxer-evangelist shrugged it kept on with his tent. Then another blow came to the other side of this face. The preacher counted up the blows, one on each cheek, took off his coat, rolled up his sleeves, tightened his fists, said, "The Lord gave me no further instructions" and began pummelling their faces.

But tu ...

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