“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek alsos” Jesus said in Matthew 5:38-42. This sounds insane, doesn’t it? Why would you allow someone to intentionally hurt you rather than getting revenge? Why would Jesus even suggest this?
The world would have you believe that you need to stand up for yourself, make sure that you do not allow anyone to take advantage of you, and get revenge before they do. Maybe Jesus suggests the opposite of these ideas because he knows that hatred only produces more hatred. It is a cycle that never ends. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man who knew his adversary well. He had lived a life dealing with segregation, racision, and hatred. Yet, when he was met with hatred, he combatted it with peace, love, and the grace of God. One of his famous quotes was, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” He knew what hatred would do to him if he allowed it to live and breathe inside of him. Jesus knew this as well. He longs for his people to follow his example in handling their enemies: with peace, love, and the grace God gives us.