We all know the Bible verse “turn the other cheek” from Matthew 5:39, but in the Sermon on the Mount does Jesus really mean as Christians we have to be doormats and let anyone who wants to “pound us” at will? Even kill us?
Of course not, Jesus was using a common rabbinical teaching tool known as “hyperbole” in order to accentuate an important point. He did not intend the line to be taken in a strict, literal, and absolute sense. We know this because in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away…" (Matthew 5:29) and "If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away…" (Matthew 5:30)
Do we really think Jesus wants us to pluck out our eyes and throw them away or cut off our hands in His name? Of course not, Jesus is speaking in hyperbole to emphasize the fact that we must eliminate all obstacles to serving God. So when it comes to turn the other cheek, Jesus is not saying we should be doormats and pacifists.
To "turn the other cheek," does not imply pacifism in the face of violence or war; nor does it mean we must place ourselves or others in mortal danger by refusing to defend ourselves. Like the principle of the eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth in Matthew 5:38, turning the other cheek refers or applies to personal retaliation, not criminal offenses or acts of military aggression. Clearly, Jesus did not mean to negate all God’s laws and injunctions protecting us against violent crime or invading armies. Rather, Jesus is speaking here of the principle of non-retaliation to affronts against our own dignity, as well as lawsuits to gain one’s personal assets (Matthew 5:40), infringements on one’s liberty (Matthew 5:41), and violations of property rights (Matthew 5:42). But He was not calling for the surrender of the right to self-defense
Turning the other cheek means not to return insult for insult in retaliation, which is what most people expect and how worldly people act. Responding to hatred with love just might grab someone's attention and afford us a chance to share the gospel. When we respond in a manner that is unnatural, it displays the supernatural power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus was the perfect example because He was silent before His accusers and did not call down revenge from heaven on those who crucified Him.
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Nehemiah 4:14 ...fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
Nehemiah 4:17-18 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built, whilethe trumpeter stood near me.
Nehemiah 4:21 So we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars appeared.
Nehemiah 4: 23 So neither I, my brothers, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us removed our clothes, each took his weapon even to the water.