Have you ever wondered if you really can turn the other cheek? Could you not only ignore the wrongful actions of others but also offer to let them further abuse and take advantage of you? I know that I have a hard time even considering such a thing. Yet, isn’t that exactly what Jesus tells me and you in today’s gospel passage from Matthew?
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”
If we aren’t careful, we can reach the unsupportable conclusion that our faith in Jesus is all that is necessary to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s not true. Kingdom living includes not only faith but works of love, mercy, forbearance and sacrifice.
Jesus never said that it would be easy. He only said that we have to do it.