turn the other cheek
"But what I say to you is: offer no resistance to injury." —Matthew 5:39
Jesus sounds so naive. Everybody knows we must resist injury. Jesus says that after we've been hit on one cheek, we should turn the other. We'll seemingly get killed if we take His advice. However, the Sermon on the Mount is not "advice"; it is the Lord's command. Nonetheless, we rationalize that Jesus' message in the Sermon on the Mount is poetic, symbolic, anything but literal.
Sometimes Jesus does not speak literally, as when He said to gouge out our eye (Mt 5:29). So we're tempted to assume the Sermon on the Mount, especially this part of it, must not be literal. Yet Jesus did literally turn the other cheek, hand over His garments and walk the extra mile, even up Mount Calvary to be crucified (Mt 5:39-41). If we deny that the Sermon on the Mount is literal, we may be denying that we must imitate the crucified Christ. Jesus is literally calling us to make a U-turn and live a radically different lifestyle. Following Jesus is not just a modification of a worldly life, but an utterly new way to live.
Will you decide to be a Christian on Jesus' terms — not as other people are, not as you want, but as He wills? Accept the Preacher and the preaching of the Sermon on the Mount.
Prayer: Jesus, it's impossible to be a Christian without Your constant amazing grace. Pour out the Holy Spirit in my life.
Promise: "For the wisdom of this world is absurdity with God." 1 Cor 3:19
Praise: Risen Lord Jesus, how can we thank You enough? You are our older Brother, having gone before us as "the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep" (see 1 Cor 15:20). We adore You.
Reference: (For a related teaching on Meeting the Risen Christ, order, listen to, or download our CD 4A-1 or DVD 4A on our website.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 8, 2019
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