My Thoughts . . .
“If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back” (Luke 6:29-30).
Notice what Jesus said. If someone sues you, hand it over. If you are slapped on one cheek, make the other one available. If someone wants what belongs to you, let him take it and do not ask him to return it. Who does that today? If he did, would we congratulation him for obeying what Jesus commanded or criticize him for his actions? Perhaps we would agree that Jesus said it, but would we not justify ourselves for NOT doing it? In reality, would we not think someone had lost his mind in suggesting Jesus required that of us?
Do we believe Jesus’ statement applies to us? It we thought it did, would we give that person the coat we didn’t want to wear but keep the one we liked? If someone wanted something we rarely used, we might give it and not expect it back. However, is that what Jesus is actually saying? If that shirt and coat is all we have to protect us from the winter winds, would we happily give it up even if it left us exposed to the elements? Would we argue with the Lord that without a shirt we would get a sun burn or if winter, we would freeze, so we are not required to obey? People in the first century didn’t have a closet full of clothing. So, what did the apostles think of Jesus “cheeky” statement?
Some argue that Jesus said if someone struck you in the face, you should allow him to bloody the other side too. In other words don’t reward violence with violence. In rebuttal one might mention Luke 22:38 where Jesus asked if the apostles possessed a sword. When informed that they did, Jesus did not order them to sell or give them away. Such passages show Jesus expected the apostles to protect themselves against those who might harm them.
Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders” (John 18:36). This passage is often quoted to prove disciples of Jesus should not take up weapons to protect themselves. Actually, Jesus is informing Pilate why believers will not attempt to release him from Jewish arrest. He came to die, not to establish a kingdom which would rid them of Roman occupation. Jesus’ kingdom would use spiritual swords to destroy the devil’s power over man. To fulfill his mission, Jesus did not need Peter’s sword to rescue him from the cross. Jesus came to purchase each one who would accept him and his salvation. To broaden the borders of Jesus kingdom, one wears spiritual armor and uses the spiritual sword to defeat Satan. Jesus makes applications that coincide with that viewpoint.
If God does not want a believer to physically protect himself, why should we think God would allow him to protect his family? If someone lusted after his wife would he sin by protecting her from that individual? Some might think the husband would be a less sinner by not doing anything while his wife was being raped? If someone wanted his pre-teen or teen daughter to satisfy his lust, must the Christian father step aside and invite that person to help himself? What if men wanted the father and husband of the family as the men in Sodom wanted Lot’s guests? Should he wilfully submit? If someone wanted your house, automobiles, savings, or weekly check, are you required to give them what they want? If a believer did nothing, would he not be giving aid to the one doing evil?
God said one should not love the world (1 John 2:15). Did that mean one must love and protect a murderer more than he loves and protects his wife who will be the victim of that murderer? If the government of a nation is “Christian,” would it be scripturally correct to incarcerate a murderer? Remember, Jesus said “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.” Someone might say, “Oh, he didn’t mean your wife, your daughter, your son, your house, your automobiles, or your income?
That is why there are multiple divisions among believers today.
(1) Either a passage means what it says and must be obeyed as stated, or. . .
(2) A passage is misunderstood to say something which it does not state, or . . .
(3) A passage states something which is not practiced today, so we assume it is limited to first century culture and custom rather than to us, or . . .
(4) A passage requires one meaning, it focuses on one specific act, which is to be understood from the customs, traditions, and law recognized by folks living in that time period, or . .
(5) A passage is assumed to be for our time period but we must upgrade all events to fit our day rather than first century times, or . . .
(6). Assumptions are given which today’s speaker and audience can understand which may be acceptable, but our assumptions are not what the New Testament writer or speaker intended.
And THAT is the reason there are multiple divisions among believers today!