On Turning The Other Cheek

A querist asks, “What did Jesus mean when He told us that we should turn the other cheek in Matthew 5:39?” Matthew 5:38-39 states:

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist and evil person, But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

Jesus is saying that we should not let the desire to “get even” dominate our lives. Instead of being governed by an attitude of retaliation, we should be governed by the principles of giving and forgiving as our Lord and Stephen demonstrated (Matthew 5:44; Acts 7:60; cf. Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67; Luke 23:34).

A forgiving and kind spirit, might ignite the spark that could change our enemy’s mindset from evil thoughts to good thoughts (Romans 12:17-21; Proverbs 25:21-22; cf. Genesis 50:14-21; 1 Samuel 24:16-19).

Having thoughts of vengeance, only allows evil to be victorious over good.

Rather, we need to: “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all” (1 Thessalonians 5:15; cf. Galations 6:10).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets


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