Many of my fellow Evangelicals have selective obedience. The verses in Scripture that are bantered about and hurled at unbelievers and believers alike have to do mostly with sex, submission of women, tithing (giving 10% of gross income to the church), swearing. drinking, smoking, and other “sins” those same Evangelicals probably don’t struggle with. It makes them feel righteous and holy to use the Bible as a verbal assault rifle.
Then Jesus comes along and has to muck everything up by saying things that are difficult to explain away. Like the above verse.
I have had other Bible believers actually tell me that Jesus didn’t mean it the way it was written. Mainly from believers that hold to right to “bear arms”. So what did Jesus mean?
He meant that if you are hit by someone, let them hit you again. He meant if someone punches you in the face, let them do it twice. He meant if someone verbally assaults you, stand there in silence and take it. He meant do not resist physical and verbal attacks.
He meant what he said. But why?
So that the glory of God is revealed in us. Jesus did not resist arrest in the garden, he endured verbal and physical assault without a word, and stood before Roman leaders without speaking in His defense. So that the glory of God would be revealed in Him.
And I am sure people were affected by that. He did not respond “in the flesh” but “in the Spirit”.
But He is not done. He says that if someone takes your coat, give him your shirt too. In other words if someone steals from you, let them and in fact give them more than they are stealing.
Why? I think because the inanimate property we own is not worth the struggle to keep it and violence against another human (even if he or she is taking mine/your stuff) does not bring glory to God.
We are not to return evil for evil.
Reflecting the unconditional love and mercy of the Father in Jesus to those in the world should be our number one priority.
Tough stuff to wrap ones mind around.