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Aren’t there times when we should "resist an evil person"? (Matthew 5:39)

Context:

Eye for Eye
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

Matthew 5:39

ESV - 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Clarify Share Report Asked October 15 2019 Mini Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
In my opinion, Jesus was not implying that such actions should go unnoted by a Christian, since even He rebuked the officer who struck Him when He was appearing before Annas following His arrest (John 18:22-23), and Paul similarly responded to the high priest Ananias who had ordered that Paul be struck on the mouth for a statement that he had made (Acts 23:3).

Jesus was speaking of the increasing violence and similar ungodlike circumstances that would result if people (and especially His followers) would be continually consumed by a desire to "get even" with someone who had wronged them. Even in the Old Testament, and despite the provisions for official retribution contained in the Law (with its "eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth" provisions), God had also pointed to a higher ethic by saying (through Moses), "Vengeance is mine; I will repay." (Deuteronomy 32:35). 

Also, although Christians are instructed to apply this guidance to themselves, I would say that it is not meant to be a justification or excuse for a Christian to passively watch and do nothing as evil is being done to others.

October 15 2019 1 response Vote Up Share Report


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