What exactly does that “turn the other cheek” thing mean? Does it mean we are never to defend ourselves against attacks (be they verbal or physical)? Please click here to find out!
The truth is, Y'shua never suggested we cannot defend ourselves. However, He calls his followers to be beyond reproach so that false accusations against them will not have a negative impact. He knows that "they will lay hands on you and persecute you" on account of his name's sake (Luke 21:12) and he tells us: "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." (John 15:18-25) Nevertheless, the fact remains that Y'shua always expects the best possible efforts from his followers, and this is where "turning the other cheek" really comes into play.
Keefa (Peter) was rebuked for cutting off the ear of a member of the arresting party. Y'shua felt so strongly about this being wrong that he restored the stricken man's ear. Why? Because he didn't want to escalate the situation and risk the safety of his own disciples.
Y'shua wanted the assaulter to have an opportunity to re-think his actions. Oftentimes assaults are made during momentary acts of emotion. For these reasons, Y'shua says turn your left cheek, and then see if your attacker is running on their emotions. Most people, if given a moment to think about what they are doing, would probably not resort to violence. However, even if someone did, the act would indicate the intent and be so blatant that it would virtually guarantee either arrest and/or conviction of assault. Either way, this would again serve as an opportunity for both parties to make one final attempt toward reconciliation before escalating the matter further and winding up in court.