Jesus and Social Conflict

  • Love your enemies
  • Do good to those who hate you
  • Bless those who curse you
  • Pray for those who mistreat you
  • Be generous , not vengeful
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated
  • Do good
  • Lend
  • Be kind to ungrateful men
  • Be merciful
  • Don’t judge
  • Do not condemn
  • Be a giver
  • Be a man who inspects himself first
  • (Luke 6)

 

Jesus said the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves. In Luke 10 there is a lawyer who asks Jesus:

“Lord who is our neighbor?”

Jesus’ responds, ‘anyone who is in need of mercy.’

Mercy by definition, is undeserved favor.  Its kind words for the blasphemer. A gentle touch for the abuser, life for the murderer, patience with the arrogant boss. Jesus uses the example of a man leaving Jerusalem- who is badly wounded and left to die. This is the state of those who are in need of mercy. Whether it is their physical bodies or their heart; they are suffering and abandoned. By nature these are the ones who need mercy, they are a stench to society. They make those around them miserable, they lash out, they are contaminated by sin, whether their own or others sins against them.

In Luke 6- Jesus gives detailed easy instructions as to HOW his disciples can love those who are in need of mercy, how can we love the broken sinners, the unclean, the unrighteous and those who have apostatized?  Note that the man was leaving Jerusalem and headed to Jericho. He likely was using these cities as part of the parable to describe a lost sheep, a Jew, leaving the presence of God. Jericho at one time was a place filled with high stone fortresses, gentiles, sinners with hardness of heart, walls for self-preservation and those who did not know God. God did not dwell in Jericho. This man was leaving the holy city and traveling towards the walled city. Perhaps with a hard heart, perhaps he needed mercy before he was even robbed. In this parable, Jesus gives an important message, which he had given before, “it is not the righteous that need salvation, but the sinners; it is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick” Jesus came for the sick! He came for those who hated him, those who mistreated people, and those who steal and curse. He came to give mercy to those who stink of death. These are the very men dying on the side of the road far from the holy place.  These are our neighbors.  When we care for them we become merciful, which in turn benefits us, because, “blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy”

Jesus is giving this message on the eve of the Pharisees exposed hatred towards him. He is setting and teaching by example.  The apostles at this time were being trained to be spiritual parents, teachers and rescuers to the children of God, the lost sheep of the house of Israel, the LOST sheep- those leaving God house.

There will be those who hate us, just as they hated the one whom we call Lord.  The darkness loves the darkness, and hates the light because it exposes their deeds, which are undeserving of anything good.   If they hated him, they are going to hate us, but Jesus trains us, and teaches us how to behave towards such men. Because they need our mercy, and we need His.

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