Summary: Loving our enemies is not easy; but, it is the Christian way.
Turning The Other Cheek
Luke 6: 27 – 36
Intro: The story is told of an Irish boxer who became a Christian evangelist. One day as he was setting up his tent for meetings, some local thugs came and began to heckle him. One of them took a swing at the preacher and hit him on the cheek knocking him to the ground. He got up and pointed to his other cheek and said, “Jesus told me to offer you this one also.” So the guy clobbered him again knocking him to the ground. The boxer turned preacher rose slowly to his feet, took off his jacket and said, “Jesus gave me no further instructions.” POW!
I VS. 27 – 30 The intent of these verses is summarized in verse 29 “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.”
A At the time of Jesus, striking a person on the cheek was a form of insult---a physical expression of cursing or reviling.
B What do you do when you turn the other cheek and it gets slapped? Is it OK to retaliate? We cannot take this literally.
C Clarence Darrow, the famed criminal lawyer once said: “Everyone is a potential murderer. I have not killed anyone; but, I frequently get satisfaction out of obituary notices.”
II Jesus said, “Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who treat you badly.”
A VS. 31 “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Does this mean if you want them to hate you, it is okay for you to hate them?
B If we want others to treat us with love, respect, honor, compassion and generosity, then we will have to act the same way towards them.
C Will our actions magically make others treat us the same way? Maybe or maybe not. We will never change our enemies if we respond to evil with evil.
III The Greek word used here for “LOVE” is AGAPE. It is a word not used in classical Greek. It is used only in religious context.
A When Jesus uses the word AGAPE or LOVE He is not using it in the context of what is deserved. Love your enemies who do not deserve or expect it.
B The AGAPE LOVE is not shown by doing what the person LOVED desires; but, by what the one who loves deems as needed.
C God’s love and grace are not unconditional acceptance; but they are undeserved.
Concl: What a different world it would be if we did not retaliate when hurt, if governments did not repay evil with evil, and rude or hurtful words or actions are not returned in kind. I believe all of these are included in what Jesus implies by turning the other cheek.