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An eye for an eye?

Mark Robinson

  • A different way!

How would you respond?

Getting back at those who have done us wrong. Hitting out with as much force to do back someone who has lashed out at us.

Recent events between Israel and Gaza and in other places as well in our world, demonstrate how ‘tit for tat’ and ‘knee jerk’ responses can lead to devastation, despair and the tragic loss of the innocent.

Jesus was certainly right when he spoke the following words of true and abiding wisdom :

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also. “Matthew 5:38–39


Jesus spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness, choosing the path he would take. In hunger and self-giving, resisting the urges to take control and unleash the penalties that we all deserve; it would’ve been the easy thing to do. Simply to lash out at those that have hurt us. Or even as easy as loving those who love us. It’s far more difficult to love when we are truly despised. To turn the other cheek, when we’ve been slapped.

Yet Jesus loved and continues to love, even in the face of torture and humiliation. As Christians, we are challenged to do as he did, we are called to live up to our spiritual discipline, to turn the other cheek, to show love in the face of hatred and exasperation. It’s our job to reflect that in what we say and do and in the way we deal with others.

We live in difficult times, where many of us and those we have heard of, still face oppression, hatred and vicious retaliation. Even so, it is then that we must send a blessing for the other person, even for the person who stands against us. Christ said “turn the other cheek”, he tells us that even in protecting ourselves, we must be open enough to show the other person a different way.

By God’s Grace that person is also one “for whom Christ died”.

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