“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 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 5:38,39

Yesterday, we talked about loving our enemies, which is a theme that’s all over the Scriptures, but nowhere is a clearer example given than in the Sermon on the Mount. When Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek, there is a lot more savvy and wisdom there than you might think. As opposed to being a gesture of subjugation, what He is referring to is actually a course of honor.

In Jewish culture, slapping someone on the right cheek would mean that they were slapped backhandedly, which equates to an insult. Why? In that time, people didn’t do anything with their left hand, only with their right, because the right hand was the strong one — it was considered disgraceful to use your left. This is how we know that Jesus was talking here about a backhanded slap: because you can’t slap someone’s right cheek with your right hand without it looking really awkward! In essence, He was saying that when someone insults you, rather than fight back, turn the other cheek and force them to actually punch you. Make them stake their reputation on it by escalating the conflict. As strange as that sounds, in a military face-culture, doing this would have elevated you to the level of a peer with the person who insulted you and might actually have brought them to a point of shame. After all, you wouldn’t legitimately act in violence against an innocent person, would you? If you did, you would be the one looking foolish!

Friend, Jesus wants you to be a person of true respect, and that happens when you don’t fight back or retaliate. This is why, as unnatural as it seems, living God’s way is practical and useful; it makes life better. When you exist in the Kingdom of God, no matter how much you’re harmed or how many insults you face, you can turn the other cheek because you are protected by the Most High. He loves you, He has your back, and He holds your best future. You can rest confidently in that as you put His Word into practice in your life! Isn’t that good news?


Jesus, give me the power, self-control, and courage to turn the other cheek when I am insulted. When I do, I know that you will be my advocate.


Can you think of a situation in which you were insulted and turned the other cheek? How did it affect you?

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5 Responses

  1. It was during my childhood and I was called terrible names like retarded. That hurt so deep.It felt like a poisoned arrow had wounded my heart. My self esteem was shattered.But that bad experience taught me to fully appreciate the better qualities of my life.I love being a minister of the Word during the 7::30 am Sunday Mass at St Catherine of Siena Catholic Church. And also singing karaoke every first and third Saturday of the month at our Miami Elks Lodge 948.I am proud to say that it is four years of being in remission from cancer.I hope and pray that the Hour of Power will continue to spread the Good news of God’s healing and love throughout the World.
    Much love and blessings to the Shepherd’s Grove Community and Pastor Bobby Schuller and his beautiful family.As always I remain your faithful viewer and Happy
    and wholesome student in Jesus Christ.Oops almost forgot the wonderful Hour of Power choir and Orchestra . God bless them for the glorious music and singing

  2. I am constantly made feel unwelcome by a person at my dance school – she is clever in that when others are around she hides it….but we all know when someone does not like us.
    She is the teacher and we used to be friends.
    Last year I stayed away from class because it is an awful feeling – even though others friends tried to make me come back.
    I have come back now – but again, when alone, she is hostile but happy when others arrive.
    Do I continue to go and punish myself over and over – or do I rise above it and hope that she will change?

    1. Hi Susie! We are praying for wisdom for you as you deal with this difficult person. May Jesus guide you as you set boundaries with her, in love. Take care of yourself and know that you are supported! God loves you and so do we!

    1. We are praying for you, Martha, as you move and get adjusted to your new surroundings. May Jesus guide you, comfort you, and bring people into your life to help and encourage you in this season of change. God loves you and so do we!

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