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


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 My picture Jack Gutknecht

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

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

Mini George Hurlburt
The Four Gospels reveal that Christ came preaching the gospel of the kingdom. His "Sermon on the Mount" featured what some might consider curious utterances, such as, "... resist not evil..."

But as who did He come to the people? He came as their king teaching them about His kingdom. In a roundabout way, He was teaching them about the kingdom, similar to how He was also teaching about the kingdom, as written down by the prophet Isaiah:

65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall
eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They
shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

No one of His children will have to "resist not evil" in the Kingdom because there will be none. The Kingdom also known to us as Heaven, and to Isaiah as "holy mountain." There will also be no more death, as pictured by a lion (known for his ferociousness towards people) eating straw.

We will not experience these and so many other vain and worthless things in Heaven, as we fellowship with God forever.

April 16 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining