Turn the other cheek?


In the Bible, in Matt. 5:39, says:

But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

What does that mean to you?  

"...openly resist..." Is that like, "turn the other cheek"? As in be mild, forgiving, loving, meek and non-resistive?

I heard something I want to share, from an old sermon delivered back in the days when the average pastor knew a great deal more about scripture than the ones today; and the story goes:

"Back in the days of Christ, the Roman "masters" who were the indisputed rulers of man on earth, indisputed by all except Jesus and his followers of course. The accepted practice it seems was if you encountered a Roman soldier on your way and there was some mild altercation between you and he, he would strike you upon your cheek, often wearing a glove. The "proper" response was for you, the "peasant," to immediately kneel bow your head, exposing the back of your neck. This of course would signal submission. If the anger was not quenched by this display of subservience, you were to prostrate yourself, putting your forehead against the ground and the Roman solider would place his boot on your neck (heard of the saying: "Under the heel of Rome?").

"But along came Jesus the Christ, who said: Don't kneel to Rome, don't bow before earthly authority. Bow only to the Father in Heaven -- IF A MAN STRIKES YOU UPON YOUR CHEEK, TURN THE OTHER CHEEK! And act of absolute defiance and resistance to the tyranny of Rome."

Timothy Lee