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Verse 23

Spoken evil - In my answer to the high priest. If there was any disrespect to the office, and lack of regard for the law which appointed him, then testify to the fact, and let punishment be inflicted according to the law; compare Exodus 22:28.

But if well ... - While an accused person is on trial he is under the protection of the court, and has a right to demand that all legal measures shall be taken to secure his rights. On this right Jesus insisted, and thus showed that, though he had no disposition to take revenge, yet he claimed that, when arraigned, strict justice should be done. This shows that his precept that when we are smitten on one cheek we should turn the other Matthew 5:39, is consistent with a firm demand that justice should be done us. That precept refers, besides, rather to private masters than to judicial proceedings. It does not demand that, when we are unjustly arraigned or assaulted, and when the law is in our favor, we should sacrifice our rights to the malignant accuser. Such a surrender would be injustice to the law and to the community, and be giving legal triumph to the wicked, and destroying the very end of all law. In private matters this effect would not follow, and we should there bear injuries without reviling or seeking for vengeance.

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