You Have Heard It Said.....

May 3, 2011

When Jesus sees the crowds that are following him, he goes up a mountain, sits down, and begins to teach them. He is a good Jewish Rabbi who sees that the ways of the world and the ways within the faith practice of his day that have veered off course. He sits to teach them the ways of the Kingdom of God that are far different from the ways of the world. In Matthew's account of the teaching on the mountain, Jesus minces no words in the ways we are called to live --- even with our enemies! "You have heard it said," he says as he opens each new teaching. The old practices of eye for an eye blood revenge are not the way of God's kingdom. That kind of vengeful action born of self-centerdness and fear are a retribution that will escalate into ongoing violence, hurt and pain that cause creation to groan in agony and humankind to be sucked into a pack mentality scrapping as it looks for the Alpha leader. Who will dominate? Who will succumb? Jesus comes teaching a new way.... "You have heard it said an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. And if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also...." Again he says, "You have heard it said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemies, but I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be children of God in heaven, for he makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous...."  Matthew 5 Making peace, voicing peace and non-violence got Jesus killed. It is still not a popular stance. We have not tried the kind of peace Jesus talks about, the kind of peace Christ brings to people who love him. "When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?" (Not Scripture..... Peter, Paul, and Mary!)

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