With all the alarm systems, bells and whistles that we place on our homes, what Jesus said makes absolutely no sense. “Offer no resistance to one who is evil.” We have done the opposite. We not only offer resistance to people who are evil—we presume everyone is evil.
Paranoia sells products. We buy stuff we don’t need, stuff we will never use—but it makes us feel safer. Extended warranties, mace, security cameras—help us to feel safer—might never need them—but we never know. Paranoia starts wars, wins elections, destroys relationships. Being afraid is a basic human emotion, as old as time. However, fear can control us if we allow—can impede our judgment. In essence, fear can take away our freedom. No wonder that Jesus does not want us to be afraid, even of the ones who are evil. The only way that we will offer no resistance, offer the other cheek when we’ve been hit, and not turn our back on someone who wants to borrow money is when we are not afraid. Very difficult to trust after we have been betrayed. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Apparently we are supposed to take a second, a third, and not hit back. Goes against all our instincts. There are old tapes echoing in our head from childhood. “If they hit you, you hit them back. But if the person is bigger than you, run before they hit you.” Getting even can be traced back to Old Testament roots. Getting even is what makes “The People’s Court so popular. Judge Judy is a pillar of American Justice. But there can be no justice when we can’t hit back. Therefore, Jesus is asking us to forgo our right to get even. Being Christian means embracing a whole new set of rules—a whole new lifestyle.
If we offer no resistance to people who are evil we are all going to be killed. Perhaps some will be killed, as has always happened when folks resort to violence. Keep in mind that at any time there are always more good people in the world than bad ones. Because that’s the way God made us—in His image and likeness. To choose to do evil goes against who we are. Sooner or later we wake up to our identity. Gandhi and other modern day prophets never hit back. He was never passive, He was non-violent. Hate can be overcome by love. The blood of the martyrs cries out to those who resort to force.
Violence is knocking at our door. We can choose to be intimidated or to live in peace. The Lord would never have set us up for defeat. Jesus was killed. He seemed in the eyes of the world to have been defeated, but He was not. He won the victory over sin, over death. The price was His life—His Blood shed on the cross. After many years of proclaiming the Gospel, the message has not sunk in, even among Christians. We even fight with one another, on the streets, in the homes, in the womb. Violence only gives rise to more violence. Anger grows to madness. Folks loose their temper in traffic, yell at the television, won’t speak to the neighbors. We tend to make up our minds about the people we don’t like. “But I say to you, love your enemies.” “We’ve met the enemy and the enemy is us.” Are we not our own worse enemy? Isn’t the greatest battle inside of us? If we are at peace with our self then nothing can harm us. We will not be afraid. If we are at peace we will offer no resistance, no violence. Takes a lot of maturity to love without expecting anything in return.
Jesus paved the way. He is our Master. To be like Him is to suffer with Him. We are already being perfected in holiness, just for trying to do what God wants.