But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone take what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:27-31
We are to reject the rules that the world lives by, and choose a contrasting set of eternal values. Jesus followers are transformed from within and their godly values are expressed in a holy life that fulfills, not the letter of the law, but its spirit and intent.
This law’s original intent to make the punishment fit the crime. But the law of love that Jesus institutes erases the whole idea of retaliation. This passage challenges us to resist our “natural response” to get back at someone and to show them love and kindness in the face of persecution.
Proceeding through the behaviors that exhibit true righteousness, Jesus teaches us about retaliation and how we ought to interact with our enemies.
Jesus told his listeners that if we have anger toward someone we have already subjected ourselves to judgment. Jesus says that when we pray we should think about who we may have had these feelings toward, and go to them and be reconciled before presenting our gifts to God.