As recorded in Matthew 5:38-41, Jesus taught His disciples non-resistance:
You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.
So many of us scoff at the idea of not resisting an evil person. “What are you going to do?” it is argued. “Just let him rape your wife or kill your little daughter? If we don’t stop evil people from committing their atrocities, evil will become increasingly prevalent. The only way to reduce the spread of evil, is to prevent evil people from carrying out their evil works. If, in doing so, it is necessary to maim or kill the evil person, then to do so is the morally right thing to do. Only in that way can we defeat evil and promote harmony among people.”
In His teaching, Jesus went on to say (as recorded in verses 43-45):
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.
I think we could agree that if everyone always did good to all others and always refrained from violence, then we would live in a wonderful world in which existed only peace, well-being, and good will. Ahhhh. but there’s the rub! Not everyone will do that. So good people have to resist evil people and even maim or kill them if necessary. It is the only way in which we can protect ourselves. We are not bold enough to say that Jesus was wrong. But to be honest, we would have to admit that He was.
Is this form of reasoning rational?
Consider this. A raging fire breaks out within a building in which there are hundreds of people. They rush toward a door that opens inwardly. But everyone nearby thinking chiefly of himself tries to get out but to no avail, for many people who want the same are crowding against the door, preventing it from being opened.
You are right up there at the door, trying to open it and get out, but both you as well as the others who are trying to do the same, prevent anyone from opening the door. A voice cries out, “Get away from the door so that it can be opened, and some people will have the opportunity to get out!” What are you going to do?
If you and the others pull back from the door, others will open it and rush out while you will be burned to death! Yet this is the only way that anyone will be saved from certain death by fire. And also, it is the only possibility for saving yourself!
So it is true that if you do not resist an evil person, he may kill you and your loved ones. But do you know that to be the case? What if he sees your good will toward him and changes his mind about the evil that he had intended to so? As long as you resist him, try to stop him, or maim him, or kill him, he will be more determined that even to carry out his evil intentions.
Jesus wasn’t wrong in His teachings to His disciples. He knew the hearts of people!