There is a picture known as Rambo Jesus. It is a picture of a muscle bound Jesus ready to kick ass and chew bubble gum and our Lord is all out of Bubble Gum. It is a masculine Jesus. A Jesus created to combat the “femenized Jesus” that the progressive and mainline Christian denominations worship. It is like they view the virtues of love, compassion, and humility are virtues that no manly man would have.
Jesus when He walked the earth was not some weakling that was in an old cartoon at a beach and the Roman Bully BURKES him in the sand pounds his head and takes the girl. Jesus was an is the epitome of true strength.
That is what these verses are about. When Jesus walked the earth, the religion of Palestine was under the yolk of Rome. Jews were 2nd class citizens. They were taxed greatly. Their priests had to do what the Roman masters wanted. A Roman soldier could bully, even kill a Jew without any punishment what so ever. This is the world that Jesus and His disciples lived.
Imagine being a Jew in 30 A.D. You are going along your own business and a Roman Centurion either takes offense at something you have done or just feels like having some fun and slaps you on the cheek. When someone slaps another on the …… cheek. They don’t have to look at you, it is dehumanizing. “You are nothing to me and you can do nothing to me.” Turning the other cheek doesn’t just mean not giving into violence and lowering yourself to their level, if you did strike back, you could be arrested or worse.
No turning the other cheek is even more important. It is facing your abuser and telling him by your face and demeanor. ” yeah, so what. I am a human being. I am not scared of you. It is about taking the power away from the aggressor. Passive resistance of the strongest kind.
If someone demands your shirt, give them your cloak. Undress, in Hebrew custom it brought shame upon the person viewing the nakedness. Genesis 9:22-23.
When we are attacked. We strike back with truth, love, and strength. We pray that they will change their ways.
The modern conservative Christian movement is a movement of attack attack attack. Most of the time it is with verbal attacks than actual physical attacks. This is saddening.
Donald Trump is proud that if someone attacks him personally that he will attack him with three times the force. He is a bully who attacks those he doesn’t like and then when you stand up to him and point out the lies he says of the cruelty of his words. He just doubles down. His modus operandi is to attack attack attack. This isn’t Jesus’ and it shouldn’t be ours either.
I would recommend listening to Erwin McManus’s Mosaic podcast titled End of Violence. One of the best on this subject.