Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me?
Matthew 5:38 – 44
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also . . . You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you . . .”
No resistance. Turn the other cheek. Love your enemies. I can almost hear Saint Peter’s shocked reaction, “Jesus, give me a break!”
Was Jesus kidding? Was he just being idealistic or poetic? Did he not expect anyone to take him at his word? If the answer to these questions is ‘yes’, then Jesus might be remembered as a terrific 1st century stand-up comic, or as a wise social philosopher — a sort of Jewish Confucius. But Jesus is neither of these; he is the human voice of God and I think he meant what he said.
However, there’s more than one way to turn the other cheek.
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Posted by Deacon Gerry at 9:11 AM