The Sermon on the Mount is, without question, the best sermon ever. And it is, without question, the most quoted sermon ever. Everyone, from Gandhi to President Obama, has quoted the Sermon on the Mount. This week, we come to one of the most quoted sayings of Jesus about turning the other cheek. You’ve no doubt used the expression yourself, but do you really know what it means? Where does one even find the self-control to turn the other check when attacked and insulted by another? It is only out of love that we are able to do this.
Jesus calls His disciples to an outrageous standard of love, as made apparent in this week’s passage. Christians are called to “love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them.” As familiar as we are with those admonitions, I wonder how many of us are willing to respond, in such away, to those who try and take us down and those who try and bring harm to us because of our faith. That sort of response is not the way we humans are normally wired. We are wired to fight back or flee, rather than to respond with the kind of love Jesus commands. So how is it remotely possible to love like Jesus requires of His disciples? It is only because of God’s outrageous love that Christ’s disciples love others outrageously.