You do not know how many emails I get from ignorant cowards and so called pacifists who always quote “We are not supposed to fight, we ar told to turn the other cheek.”
This is primarily taken from Matthew.
Matthew 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
It upsets me that so many who call themselves Christians today do not take the time to really study scripture and look into the context which a lot of popular ideas stem from.
This is taken from Matthew 5 which is the beginning of the famous Sermon on the Mount, which goes all the way through to chapter 7.
In this portion Christ is talking about dealing with your enemies. The problem is that there are different types of enemies, enemy personal, enemy universal, enemy corporate. The pacifist lumps it all into one category, “enemy”.
The problem is that what Christ is talking about here is personal enemies and not those who are corporate / universal.
When we read in context we see that Christ is addressing social issues. How to deal with one another, being angry with one another, issues like adultery and divorce, making promises you cannot keep or making promises you should not promise to keep.
We then come to the famous turn the other cheek / love your enemy part.
Matthew 5: 38-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
In this as well as all of Chapter 5, Christ is dealing with personal social issues, not government or corporate issues.
Nowhere does it say that we cannot defend ourselves, not protect the innocent, and not protect our family, etc.
Breaking Down “Turn The Other Cheek” – Which Hand?
Matthew 5: 39 but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
For the past 100 years we have stopped becoming a war like / fighting people. Because we are no longer fighters, we miss out on something that our forefathers understood plain as day.
Let’s look at social norms.
First, the majority of the world is “right” handed. Why is that? I honestly believed that God created man to be right handed and to this day that still remains to be the norm. Only 15% of the world’s population is left handed.
Throughout history and social norms the left hand is always the “unclean” hand. In the days before proper sanitary conditions, men and women used their left hand to deal with all their “nether region’s” hygiene issues. This includes the monthly issues women have to deal with.
SO… no one and I mean no one used the left hand for any sort of social interaction and to this day we still honor that idea.
Just as a quick test, reach your left hand to shake hands and watch the other person’s eyes. You will see that you are “tripping them up” mentally and they will think a moment before offering the left hand, that is if they even offer it at all.
In today’s PC world where people don’t ask “WHY” and do not want to “offend,” most people will then shake with the left if given a few moments to think about it.
We can see that even Luke records the social norm when he references the sermon on the mount.
Luke 6:29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
When you read from the Authorized King James Bible you will notice that the word “ONE” is italicized. It is italicized because he is referencing the “right” cheek or proper cheek. Luke is talking about the “right” side as opposed to the wrong side or second side.
The historical social norm is that the right side is always right / first and the left side is always the wrong side, second or what is “left.”
Do a study on right vs left in social norms, it is amazing to find out why we do what we do and this in and of itself shows that God is in fact our creator and we did not just appear out of some primordial ooze. God put thought into us and ingrained these ideas into our DNA.
Now, with this little history lesson out of the way, let me ask you the following…
How does a right handed person “smite” or strike someone on the right cheek?
Think on this for a moment and hum the Jeopardy game show theme in your mind as you are thinking.
The only way a right handed person could strike someone on the right cheek is use the back of the hand to slap them or commonly known as a backslap.
If you would “attack” someone and intend to do serious damage / fight a person, you would use a fist and strike the closest target, that being the left cheek.
But Christ is CLEARLY talking about the right cheek.
Because we are no longer a fighting warlike people we miss the entire context of this and because of that we feminize this. Because we have become so emasculated, we lose out on what Christ is telling us.
Context 1 – Christ is talking about social issues / treating one another.
Context 2 – one NEVER strikes another with a left hand, that is the unclean hand and one just did not break that unwritten social rule no matter what.
Context 3 – in a fighting warlike society if you backslap someone it has always been seen as a form to bring shame / insult the person who is being slapped.
To put it in modern terminology “Bi-h-slap” (think the proper term for a female dog)
To define this we read the following..
“to hit someone’s face (usually the cheek) with the back of one’s hand. Typically performed when the person is being insubordinate and is used to assert one’s authority, rather than to cause great harm. “
Christ is not talking about universal / corporate enemies, enemies at large or nation states that want to do us harm.
He is talking about that real jerk at work that always wants to up you by one, rub your nose in it when you make a mistake, the one who is always starting rumors about you, the one who is most likely be the person who will take their keys and put a huge scratch down the side of your car.
That is the sort of enemy that Christ is talking about here.
But because over the past 100 years we have gone from a fighting warlike people to soft feminized PC “God is Love” sort of people, we have been missing this point.
Did Christ Turn The Other Cheek? HECK NO! The Lion of Judah Comes Out
How many of you know or remember the scene in the garden when Jesus was arrested? There is a lot going on here, but when you read all four accounts from the Gospels, we clearly see the “Lion of Judah” coming out in Christ and not some meek lamb that is often portrayed. In the garden Christ shows His street smarts as well as giving us a peek at the “lion of Judah” but allowed Himself and submitted to being the “lamb.”
John gives an account with a lot of detail that the other gospels did not include. There is a lot there when we really take the time to read.
Please take the time to read this, it is important, so please do not skim it, really read…
John 18: 2 – 11
2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.
3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:
9 that the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.
11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
Did you see the “lion” here?
First point – Judas betrays Christ with a kiss and then returns to the crowd of men. This in and of itself was seen as an insult. Luke even records Christ reaction to this insult…
Luke 22:48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?
In other words, “Judas, you know who I am (referring to the fact that He is God in the Flesh) and you betray me with a lowly kiss?”
He was basically calling Judas a coward and a panty waist.
Second Point – Jesus recovers from the insult and boldly asks “Whom seek ye?” They answer back “ Jesus of Nazereth.
Third Point – Many people miss the following, we witness The Lion’s Roar and John is the only one who records it…
5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
When Christ said “ I AM HE” He said it as a warrior and one with authority. Remember He was just insulted by the cowardly kiss that Judas gave him. He was letting the mass of people there that He is The Lion of Judah, the Son of God, The Alpha and Omega.
He startled them so much that they all, including Judas were stepping backwards and fell to the ground.
Now, to give you an idea of the mass of people there to arrest Christ we read the following in Mark.
Mark 14:43 And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.
Here is a very good excerpt describing the “great multitude”…
I want you to understand exactly who this “band of men” and these “officers from the chief priests” were so you can see the full picture of what happened that night on the Mount of Olives. I believe you will be flabbergasted when you realize the gigantic numbers of armed men who came looking for Jesus that night!
The soldiers Judas brought with him to the Garden of Gethsemane were soldiers who served at the Tower of Antonia—a tower that had been built by the Hasmonean rulers. Later it was renamed the “Tower of Antonia” by King Herod in honor of one of his greatest patrons, Marc Antony (yes, the same Marc Antony who fell in love with the Egyptian queen Cleopatra!).
The Tower of Antonia was a massive edifice that was built on a rock and rose seventy-five feet into the air. Its sides had been completely smoothed flat to make it difficult for enemies to scale its walls. Although it had many towers, the highest one was located on the southeast corner, giving the watchman an uninhibited view of the temple area as well as much of Jerusalem.
Inside this massive complex was a large inner courtyard for exercising the Roman cohort—comprised of 300 to 600 specially trained soldiers—that was stationed there. These troops were poised to act defensively in the event of an insurgency or riot. In fact, a staircase led from the tower into the temple, enabling the troops to enter the temple in a matter of minutes should a disturbance develop there.
One writer has noted that there was even a secret passageway from the tower to the inner court of the priests, making it possible for troops to reach even that holy, off-limits location.
John 18:3 records that there was “a band of men” in the Garden that night. The Greek word for “a band of men” is spira.
This is the word that describes a military cohort—the group of 300 to 600 soldiers mentioned above. These extremely well-trained soldiers were equipped with the finest weaponry of the day.
This was a major event. Over 300 and more like 600 well-armed and well trained men came to take on Christ and his disciples.
Another fact that many miss is that the disciples were not any wimpy slouches themselves.
We read in Luke …
Luke 22:49 When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?
These guys were itching for a fight and in fact Peter jumps the gun and gets into it and proceeds to cuts off the ear of the high priest’s personal servant.
Folks, these guys had fortitude (guts) and they were ready to start attacking at a drop of the hat.
Christ spoke with such warrior authority that the ENTIRE GROUP OF PEOPLE stepped back in shock that ALL OF THEM fell to the ground. Can you picture this?
Do you see the warrior / Lion of Judah I am painting for you here?
Do you understand that the disciples KNEW who the served and KNEW who they were with? Do you see and understand the bravado here that Christ and the disiples displayed?
Christ let himself be known to the crowd. Him stating that “HERE I AM” clearly startled the mass of people and I bet that they were seriously shaking in their boots too.
I say all this because often Christ as well as the disciples are made out to be a bunch of hippy dippy sissy men.
NO.. they were not, they were hard core take it to the mat men of God.
This is our example, all of us need to learn to boldly stand again, just like Christ and the disciples did when they were confronted with “their enemy.”
Now it is from the following portion that the cowardly pacifists wimpy men get another one of their famous out of context ideas.
“Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword.”
Mark 14: 46 And they laid their hands on him, and took him.
47 And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
48 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me?
49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.
We can see the warrior again exert his authority, challenging the mass of people. In fact does Christ turn the other cheek?
He accuses them and holds them accountable.
“ HEY… you had the chance during the day to come get Me, but you did not have the courage. But now you come in the dark with your swords and staffs being all macho like? Some “men” you are! “ You want me? HERE AM I !!”
So here is Jesus with 11 rag tag men all of them armed and ready to fight, but then Christ shows how He is the compassionate Servant Warrior, He heals the ear of servant and then reminds them that the scriptures must be fulfilled.
I have to say that if the scriptures did not have to be fulfilled, maybe they might have gone at it rigth then, right there. This was a very tense situation.
But we learn another insight, even though the disciples KNEW who they were joining in the fight with, Christ also shows wisdom in saying “ those who fight by the sword will die by the sword.”
In other words, when you read it in proper context, Christ was telling the disciples that they were greatly outnumbered and that now was not the day for all of them to die. He was proud of them, but He pointed out that the scriptures must be fulfilled and to do that, He had to submit to God’s Will and allow him to be taken.
But That Is Not All… Still No Turning the Other Cheek
So here is the situation, Jesus submitted and allowed the High Priest and all the other rabble to take him away. Then things get interesting again.
John 18:19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.
20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.
21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.
22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?
23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?
24 Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.
Christ is taken and brought to the High Priests HQ for questioning. Look at the words here in John 18. I am sorry but this does not sound like a person who is a wimpy limp wristed sissy man like he is portrayed today.
Annas asked him about all the doctrine, the disciples and what he taught and Jesus got right back at him in Annas’ face and asked him “Why are you asking me?” ( Christ knew that Annas already knew the answer) Why don’t you ask those who heard me? They know what I said!”
That is when one of Annas’ officers then struck Jesus with the palm of his hand. Remembering social norms and such, here the officer used his right hand but did not strike his right side, he stuck Christ’s left cheek, the closest target.
DID JESUS TURN THE OTHER CHEEK HERE?
What did Jesus do?
He looked the guy in the eye, you know that look that shoot knives, and said “ HEY… If I said something wrong, then tell me so I can make amends, otherwise why are you back-slapping me Bub ?
We do not see Christ turning the other cheek here. In fact He spoke up and asked why he was being insulted in such a manner when He did not do anything wrong. A slap is an insult, a fist is an attack.
Folks, since we have become an non fighting war like people, we have gotten soft. But more than that we have lost important context inregards to our Lord and Savior.
He was not some long haired wimpy limp wristed man. He was and is the Son of God and He did not take garbage from people. When he saw wrong, he dealt with it, but He also showed us how to be a true Servant Warrior.
We need to get this feminized emasculated idea of Christ out of our minds. We need to start realizing who it is we serve and HE is the Lion of Judah. He is compassionate, yet hard. He is loving, but will not put up with the bozos of the world who come in the dark to attack. He stands up for what is just, right and true.
I challenge you to start reading the gospels again and start looking for the Warrior Lion of Judah who is our Lord and forget about this wimpy blue eyed hippy that so many portray Him as.
Christ was The Warrior King, is The Warrior King and when all is said and done, will be The Warrior King when The Day of The Lord takes place.
This is the man we need to emulate. Not the man these cowardly sissy men and feminist pacifists have forced down our throats.
If anything, Christ shows us that we need to stand our ground and these so called enemies are nothing. We serve the King of Kings, so if they slap us in the face, we ask them if they want the other cheek to slap. If they want our coat, take it off and throw it in their face and ask them if they want your shirt as well.
We need to start standing like true men and women of God. We are a people who have a back bone and we know who it is we serve. We serve The Warrior King – King Jesus – The Lion of Judah!
Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
By Ray Gano
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