Despite the fact that the passage has Jesus saying "do not resist an evil person," not "do not get angry with an evil person?"
Don't get me wrong: I'm glad they did resist. They were going against Jesus's advice, but I think they were right to do so. Taking Jesus's advice literally by not resisting evil has some serious ethical problems.
When the court translators working in the hire of King James chose to translate antistenai as "Resist not evil," they were doing something more than rendering Greek into English. They were translating nonviolent resistance into docility. Jesus did not tell his oppressed hearers not to resist evil. That would have been absurd. His entire ministry is utterly at odds with such a preposterous idea. The Greek word is made up of two parts: anti, a word stil used in English for "against," and histemi, a verb that in its noun form (stasis) means violent rebellion, armed revolt, sharp dissention. In the Greek Old Testament, antistenai is used primarily for military encounters. In the NT it describes Barabbas, a rebel "who had committed murder in the insurrection" Mk, Luke, and the townspeople in Ephesus, who "are in danger of being charged with rioting" Acts. A better translation of Jesus' teaching would be then, "Don't strike back at evil (or, one who has done you evil) in kind." "Do not retaliate against violence with violence."
Fight or flight; If the option "fight" had no appeal the only alternative was 'flight', passivity, submission, no third way existed. Submission or revolt the only alternative. King James faithful scholars translated antistenai as "resist not" as the king would not want people concluding that they had any recourse against his or any other sovereign's unjust policies. According to these king's men, Jesus commands us to resist not.
Even to gesture with the left hand at Qumran carried the penalty of exclusion and ten days' penance (Dead Sea Scrolls, 1QS 7).
The intention is not to injure but to humiliate. One did not normally strike a peer thus, and if one did, the fine was exorbitant (4 zuz was the fine for a blow to a peer with a fist, 400 zuz for hackhanding him; but to an underling, no penalty whatsoever-Mishnah, Baba Qumma 8:1-6.
The bottom line the oppressor has been forced, against his will, to regard this subordinate as an equal human being. The powerful person has been stripped of his power to dehumanize the other. Turn the other cheek is an act of defiance, not docility. As I stated previously, context is everything. Reference: 'Jesus and Nonviolence, A Third Way,' Walter Wink