Part one of Walter Wink’s explanation of the “Third Way” of Jesus. By illustrating “turn the other cheek”, “offer your coat as well”, and “go the second mile” with lively demonstrations, Dr. Wink puts “Do not resist evil” into a vibrant historical context with practical applications today at the Spiritual Pilgrimages of Peacemaking retreat in Princeton, New Jersey.
From my understanding, Jesus’ exhortation to people to resist evil is not about submitting to evil and being a doormat but rather about opposing violence with non-violence (based on the Greek meaning of “antistenai” or “against stand”), with reference to the word “stand” and “withstand” in spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6. I suppose the origin of violence is from the ego or false self that is based on a separation or duality mindset, whereas love and non-violence is borne of our true self. So in an esoteric sense, Jesus could be reminding people of their innate sense of love and nonviolence, which gives them the power to resist or oppose evil or persecution with nonviolence.
Jesus could also be telling the Jews (indirectly) that the law was created by man, not God (or the Father or their highest self). Their law taught them to return an eye for an eye, but God’s way is to not to resist evil. The law works violence or wrath (Romans 4:15) because the law was created based on human ego or false self, whereas grace produces non-violence and forgiveness because grace comes from our true self within. In Galatians 5, Paul also compared between the works of the flesh (wrath, envy, strife, etc from the lower consciousness) that seeks to be justified by the law and the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faith, gentleness, goodness and self-control from the higher consciousness) that rests in our true identity.
- Commentary: Martin Luther King’s message of nonviolence resonates (kansascity.com)
- John Dear: Dr. King’s Call for Nonviolence (huffingtonpost.com)
- King’s Daughter: Nonviolence Message Vital As Ever (atlanta.cbslocal.com)
- Prayer for Sunday (Maghi) (yourdailyprayer.wordpress.com)
- Non-violence worked then, so why not now? (kansascity.com)