Topic: Luke's Perspective of Jesus: Ch. 6 Study Notes
Luke 6:29-30 (1)
by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 15 January 20, 2008 Lincolnton, NC
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.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
1901 ASV Translation:
29 To him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and from him that taketh away thy cloak withhold not thy coat also.
30 Give to every one that asketh thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
I. The Intermediate Structure
If You Are Still Listening
A -- Love your enemies
B -- Do good to those who hate you
C -- Bless those who curse you
D -- Pray for those who denigrate you
E -- Turn the other cheek
F -- Withhold not your coat also
G -- Give to those who ask of you
H -- Do unto others as you would have them do to you
How Have You Been 'Gracious'?
A2 -- If you love those who love you, of what sort of "thanks" is it to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
B2 -- If you do good to those who do good to you, of what sort of "thanks" is it to you? For sinners do the same.
G2 -- If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, of what sort of "thanks" is it to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive the equivalent.
In Great Contrast
A3 -- Love your enemies
B3 -- Do good
G3 -- Lend, nothing despairing
Great will be your reward;
By this means you will be "sons" of the Most High because He is "kind" to the unthankful and evil.
II. Explaining the "Doing of Good".
A. From structure issues we can conclude that the unrepeated material (C, D, E, and F) is a sub-set of the command to "Do good to those who hate you."
B. Two of the commands in the unrepeated material (C and D) have to do with the desires of others for your hurt; and two of them (E and F) have to do with the actions of others for your hurt. Those first two center upon a frontal attack upon your identity (your spirit) and the latter two center upon a frontal attack upon your physical person (your body).
III. The "Turn the Other Cheek" Issue.
A. What did Jesus say?
1. The word translated "cheek" is used in the Septuagint in Judges 15:15-19 (8 times) for the "jaw bone". It is used in 1 Kings 22:24/2 Chronicles 18:23 to refer to the "cheek". In Job 16:10 Job uses it to complain of the way he has been treated by some who have "smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully". Isaiah 50:6 sounds so much like the experience of Jesus when He was being shamed by the soldiers prior to the crucifixion that it must have been Messianic. Several of the Old Testament references have to do with "judicial" issues in which a person is "smitten" by a representative of the "justice" system, and the example of Jesus is also "judicial". Even in Matthew 5:39 the issue is not an "everyday" circumstance: "Resist not the evil..." may well refer not to individual evil, but to the evil that has become entrenched in the judicial processes. Jesus may have the issue of insurrection in mind in His insistence that His disciples not "resist the evil".
2. The issue is not simply being "smitten upon the cheek". The issue is "unjust abuse". And, if the implications of Jesus' example are allowed, it is not simply "unjust abuse" by any/every one, but it is "unjust abuse by those who are charged with the upholding of justice." This makes a lot of difference when it comes to actual obedience because it gives a "setting". If "turning the other cheek" has no specific "setting" (so that it "applies" to every setting), chaos is set loose in the culture so that those outside the boundaries of "law" are free to do as they please in disregarding the law.
a. These instructions are not designed for "international application".
b. These instructions are not designed for "governmental application".
c. These instructions are not designed for "church application".
d. These instructions are designed for the relationships of believers with unbelievers in personal settings under (and including) the cultural judicial system.
B. How does it work?
1. Jesus is teaching a "gracious" system under a "legal" system. What I mean by that is that Jesus' apostles taught (in Galatians 6:7) that even under "grace", the Law of the Harvest continues to exercise dominion. They also taught (in Romans 3:26) that not even God suspends justice in order to exercise grace. And they practiced the use of Law as a protection of the guiltless (Acts 25:11) so that they would not have to "turn the other cheek" and suffer the unjust to run roughshod over justice. Therefore, what Jesus was teaching was an intentional exercise of grace toward one's "enemies" within the greater context of "love" and "justice".
2. In this "grace" under a legal system, one always has certain "options" in the application of "justice". One of those "options" is to simply not apply it if one is capable of absorbing the injustice oneself. Jesus, Who permitted His own cheeks to be abused, pointedly told Peter that if He so desired, He could summon legions of angels to keep Him from having to submit to the injustice of the "justice" system. This is the exercise of this option. The major point here is the one Jesus raised just a few verses further in our current context: how do we demonstrate our "sonship" to the Most High in a context of "sinners" being "relatively nice" to sinners?